World No. 1 women's tennis player Ashleigh Barty has pulled out of this year's US Open due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My team and I have decided that we won't be travelling to the US and Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year," Barty was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun newspaper.
"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.
The Australian is the highest profile player so far to pull out of the event which is scheduled to take place in New York from August 31-September 13. The Grand Slam is slated to be held amid a slew of restrictions on player movements and the number of people that accompany them to the venue and on court.
The 24-year-old further said that she is yet to decide if she will defend her French Open championship, with that event rescheduled for late September.
"I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA (Women's Tennis Association) European tournaments in the coming weeks," Barty said.
Earlier men's World No.1 Novak Djokovic had said that he is undecided on whether he wants to participate in the US Open or not this year. Djokovic had said that the upsurge in cases in America does not spell well for the US Open.