Neither US Open singles champion defended their title this year, with Rafael Nadal (travel concerns) and Bianca Andreescu (lack of training) both impacted by the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday night, another 2019 Grand Slam titlist confirmed a similar withdrawal. French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, won’t be in Roland Garros to defend.
“There are two reasons for my decision,” the Australian wrote on Instagram. “The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia.”
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It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. 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. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia. I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament. I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being 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’s announcement comes on the same day that French Open officials released details about how the tournament would be conducted, including a three-zone division of the Roland Garros grounds, and limited attendance.