In a major blow to the organisers of US Open, world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has announced she is pulling out of this year’s event due to coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Majority of People in Kathmandu Don't Wear Masks: Report

The US Open 2020 is scheduled to start in New York from August 31. Also Read - Coronavirus: India Crosses 24 Lakh-mark; Centre Claims Recovery Rate Rising, Fatality Declining | Top Developments

She will also be not taking part in the Western And Southern Open Also Read - Surprisingly COVID-19 Virus Impacts Patients Differently

“My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to the US for the Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year,” Barty said in a statement released on Thursday.

“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 US next year,” she added.

Barty is the first high-profile star to withdraw her name and will take a decision on whether to defend her title at the delayed French Open in the coming days. “I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks,” Batty said.

Five players in the world top-10 rankings including the likes of world No. 2 Simona Halep, reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina and No. 10 Naomi Osaka are also skipping the Western and Southern Open.

In the men’s draw, however, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal have been listed among the participants for the event scheduled to get underway from August 22 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.