World number two Simona Halep withdraws from US Open

By Sports Desk August 17, 2020

Simona Halep will not play the US Open, the world number two confirmed on Monday.

The Romanian played her first tournament since the WTA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic last week, winning the title at the Prague Open by beating Elise Mertens in Sunday's final.

Halep stated after that match she would provide an update on her status for Flushing Meadows on Monday, with the world number two opting to continue training in Europe rather than travelling to New York.

"After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen," the two-time grand slam winner posted on Twitter.

"I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.

"I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament."

Halep's decision means only four of the present top 10 remain in the draw for the women's singles.

Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are all involved, but top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, defending champion Bianca Andreescu, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic have all pulled out.

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal – who beat Daniil Medvedev in the 2019 final – had already confirmed he will not play in New York, though Novak Djokovic announced his intention to feature.

The US Open main draw begins on August 31.

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