Many top players, especially on the women’s side, missed the US Open 2020. Fans are now hoping to see a full field at the French Open 2020. However, the event was dealt a huge blow with just under three weeks before it begins. Defending champion Ashleigh Barty announced her decision to skip the event.
The Australian star also signaled an end to her season. She aims to make a comeback with the Australian summer at the start of 2021.
Barty earlier announced she will not play the US Open due to travel concerns and border restrictions in Australia, owing to the coronavirus. Those concerns continue for the world number one. Ashleigh Barty expressed that health risk is the primary reason for her withdrawal.
“It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year,” Barty said on Instagram on Tuesday.
“Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly. There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with COVID,” she added.
She cited another reason – her lack of preparation in the past few weeks. Barty has been unable to train with coach Craig Tyzzer due to state border restrictions within Australia.
Barty will not be seen in action for the rest of the year. “I now look forward to a long pre-season and the summer in Australia,” Barty’s statement continued.
“It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and wellbeing of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again,” Barty expressed.
Ashleigh Barty won the title at last year’s French Open amid a stellar season. She won the WTA Finals as well and became the world number one.
The French Open 2020 is not expected to see as many withdrawals from top players as the US Open 2020. The French Tennis Federation announced fresh guidelines. Fans will be allowed to attend matches in a limited capacity on the three main courts.