US Open: Top-10 tennis stars Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens drop out of tournament over COVID-19 concerns

Bertens, who is Dutch, wrote on Instagram that one of her concerns is the need to be quarantined upon returning to Europe after the US Open, which runs from 31 August to 13 September and will not have any spectators.

The Associated Press August 08, 2020 09:46:34 IST
US Open: Top-10 tennis stars Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens drop out of tournament over COVID-19 concerns

New York: Two more top-10 women - Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens - will miss the US Open, joining No. 1-ranked Ash Barty in skipping the Grand Slam tennis tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Tennis Association also announced Friday that Barbora Krejcikova withdrew. She is ranked 115th in singles, eighth in doubles.

The fifth-ranked Svitolina, a Ukrainian who was a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, posted Friday on social media that she doesn't "feel comfortable to travel to US without putting my team and myself at high risk."

No. 7 Bertens, who is Dutch, wrote on Instagram that one of her concerns is the need to be quarantined upon returning to Europe after the US Open, which runs from 31 August to 13 September and will not have any spectators.

Roland Garros - where Bertens reached the semifinals in 2016 - is scheduled to begin 27 September. She also wants to play on the clay-court tournament in Rome before heading to Paris.

"The situation around COVID-19 is still that worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority," Bertens wrote.


View this post on Instagram

Na lang nadenken heb ik besloten niet naar Amerika te gaan voor de toernooien Cincinnati en Us open. De situatie rond COVID-19 is nog dusdanig zorgwekkend dat de gezondheid van iedereen voorop staat en de controle over dit virus uiteraard prioriteit heeft. Zo heeft onze premier gisteren ook aangegeven dat we na Amerika 2 weken in quarantaine zouden moeten. Uiteraard respecteren wij dit als team en zou dit de voorbereiding voor mijn geliefde gravel in Rome en Parijs in de weg zitten. Ik hoop dat de situatie snel een positieve wending zal krijgen en wens iedereen een goede gezondheid toe # after long consideration I have decided not to go to the states for Cincinnati and the Us open. The situation around COVID-19 is still that worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority. Our prime minister indicated yesterday that we should be quarantined for 14 days after coming back from the states. Off course we respect this as a team and this would disturb our preparation for my beloved clay court tournaments in Rome and Paris. I hope the situation will soon take a positive turn and wish everyone good health. Take care!

A post shared by Kiki Bertens (@kikibertens) on

Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal also has said he won't play at the US Open, citing concerns about traveling during the pandemic. Also out of the field: Roger Federer, who is sitting out the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.

Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils are among other men not going to New York.

With Friday's three withdrawals, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Viktoriya Tomova moved into the women's singles draw.

Sachia Vickery gets the wild-card invitation that originally was awarded to Di Lorenzo.

The professional tennis tours went on hiatus in March because of the pandemic. The women's circuit returned to action this week in Palermo, Italy; the men are scheduled to begin play later this month.

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