AAP Tennis

Bertens the latest big name out of US Open

By AAP Newswire

World No.5 Elina Svitolina and No.7 Kiki Bertens have joined the growing list of players to withdraw from this month's US Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Men's defending champion Rafael Nadal and women's world No.1 Ashleigh Barty have also opted against travelling to New York as well as playing in the Western & Southern Open that will work as a warm-up event.

"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."

Russia's Svitolina, a semi-finalist last year at Flushing Meadows, experessed similar sentiments.

"Considering all the aspects, I have decided not to play the US Open 2020," she said.

"I want to thank the USTA (United States Tennis Association), organisers and [the] WTA for giving the players a chance to play and the fans a chance to watch this great event.

"I understand and respect all the efforts they are putting [in place] to make it happen in a safe environment, but I still don't feel comfortable to travel to the US without putting my team and myself at high risk."

The United States has close to 5 million cases of COVID-19 and almost 160,000 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.

The USTA are creating a bio-secure 'bubble' in New York to hold the tournament from August. 31 without spectators.

But concerns remain about whether players would face mandatory quarantines upon returning home from the US Open.

Former world No.1 Andy Murray, who won the US Open in 2012, said on Monday that players travelling 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 September 20 ahead of the French Open in Paris a week later.