World No. 2 Simona Halep on Monday became the latest tennis star to withdraw from the upcoming U.S. Open due to COVID-19 concerns.
The 28-year-old Romanian said she will remain in Europe, making her the sixth player in the top 10 to pull out of the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York.
“After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe. I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament.”
After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen
I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) August 17, 2020
Halep, the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion, won her 21st career WTA singles title on Sunday at the Prague Open.
Simona Halep latest to opt out
Others who have opted out of the U.S. Open include No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 6 Bianca Andreescu (the defending champion), No. 7 Kiki Bertens and No. 8 Belinda Bencic.
No. 9 Serena Williams, 39, has said she still plans to play in New York as she seeks a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.
On the men’s side, 19-time major winner Rafael Nadal of Spain pulled out of the tournament earlier this month. He is the defending champion.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)