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World number one Barty to skip U.S. Open over coronavirus concerns - report
Reuters 600px 600px
  • 29 Jul 20
  • Tennis
  • 4
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Qatar Open - Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar - February 28, 2020   Australia's Ashleigh Barty in action during her semi final match against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova   REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari 691px 444px FILE PHOTO: Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Qatar Open - Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar - February 28, 2020 Australia's Ashleigh Barty in action during her semi final match against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

(Reuters) - World number one Ash Barty will skip this summer's U.S. Open and the tournament proceeding it in New York due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

"My team and I have decided that we won't be travelling to the US for the Western and Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year," the Australian told the Herald Sun newspaper.

"I love both events so it was a difficult decision but there are still significant risks involved due to COVID-19 and I don't feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position.

"I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and look forward to being back in the U.S. next year."

The Western and Southern Open, which is held annually in Cincinnati, has been moved to New York this year and is set to start in mid-August.

The U.S. Open kicks off on Aug. 31 and will be held in its usual home in Flushing Meadows, Queens but will be played without fans in attendance to limit the spread of the virus.

Deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 150,000 in the United States on Wednesday, more than any other country and nearly a quarter of the world's total, according to a Reuters tally.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Ed Osmond)

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