Women's world No. 7 Kiki Bertens has joined a growing list of players withdrawing from this month's U.S. Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dutch player confirmed Friday.
Men's defending champion Rafael Nadal and women's world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty have also opted against traveling to New York to play the hardcourt Grand Slam as well as the Western & Southern Open that will work as a warmup for the U.S. Open.
"After long consideration, I have decided not to go to the States for Cincinnati and the U.S. Open," the 28-year-old Bertens said on Instagram.
"The situation around COVID-19 is still worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority."
The U.S. has close to 5 million cases of COVID-19 and almost 160,000 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.
The U.S. Open organizers (USTA) are creating a bio-secure 'bubble' in New York to hold the tournament from Aug. 31 without spectators. But concerns remain about whether players would face mandatory quarantines upon returning home from the U.S. Open.
Former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who won the U.S. Open in 2012, said Monday that players traveling to New York needed assurance that they would not face mandatory quarantines after returning to Europe.
"Our prime minister indicated yesterday that we should be quarantined for 14 days after coming back from the States," Bertens said.
"Of 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," she said.
The Italian Open is scheduled to be held in Rome from Sept. 20, ahead of the French Open Grand Slam in Paris a week later.
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