Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens joined a growing list of players who dropped out of the United States Open, which will begin at the end of the month, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty had already decided not to travel to New York to play the Grand Slam and the Cincinnati Masters 1000 which will function in preparation for the US Open.
“I understand and respect all the efforts they are making to make this happen in a safe environment, but I still do not feel comfortable traveling to the United States without putting my team and myself at high risk,” said Svitolina, who arrived last year at semifinals in New York via Twitter.
Organizers of the United States Open (USTA) are creating a bio-secure ‘bubble’ in New York to hold the tournament from Aug. 31 without spectators but concerns remain as to whether the players would face mandatory quarantines upon returning home from the U.S. .
“The situation around COVID-19 remains worrying and everyone’s health and control of this virus is a priority,” said Bertens, 28, in Instagram. “Our prime minister said yesterday that we should be quarantined for 14 days after returning from the United States,” he added.
The United States has about 5 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 160,000 people have died, according to a Reuters count.