The 24-year-old Australian said the main reasons for his decision where the health risks associated with COVID-19 and her interrupted preparation.
Top-ranked Ash Barty will not defend her French Open title because of concerns over traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After skipping the U.S. Open, which is being contested in New York without crowds, Barty has decided against traveling to Europe for events at Rome and Roland Garros.
“Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly,” Barty, who won her first major title last year at the French Open, said in a statement Tuesday. “I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.”
The 24-year-old Australian said the main reasons for his decision where the health risks associated with COVID-19 and her interrupted preparation. She hasn’t been able to work with her coach recently because of domestic state border closures in Australia.
Barty said she would focus on a long pres-season and southern hemisphere summer. Australia closed its international borders in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and international travel is still heavily restricted. Organizers of the Australian Open remain confident the season-opening major will go ahead as scheduled in January.
“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,” Barty said. “Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again.”
Barty hasn’t played a competitive match since February. Her last match in a major was a semifinal loss to Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open in January.