Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens join growing list of US Open withdrawals

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a shot to Serena Williams during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York. Two more top-10 women- Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens- will miss the U

Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal also has said he won't play at the US Open, citing concerns about traveling during the pandemic.

Two more top-10-ranked women's players have confirmed their withdrawal from the U.S. Open tournament, with Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina both announcing they will not be in action at Flushing Meadows.

World number two Simona Halep - a two-time Grand Slam champion - has suggested she will opt against playing, but was included on the initial entry list as were Svitolina and Bertens.

The United States has close to 5 million cases of Covid-19 and nearly 160,000 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.

The US Open will run from August 31 to September 13.

"I want to thank the USTA [United States Tennis Association], organisers and WTA for giving the players a chance to play and the fans a chance to watch this great event".

"I understand and respect all the efforts they are putting to make it happen in a safe environment, but I still don't feel comfortable to travel to the U.S. without putting my team and myself at high risk", she added.

Svitolina said in a statement tat she dd not feel "comfortable to travel to the United States without putting my team and myself at high risk".

"After much thought, I have decided not to play the Cincinnati and US Open tournaments".

"The situation around COVID-19 is still worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority", said the 28-year-old, Bertens, ranked at seven, on Instagram.

Wawrinka, the US Open victor in 2016, was already missing from the entry list along with four-time champion Rafael Nadal.

Nur Prime Minister told us yesterday that if we traveled to the United States we would have to do two weeks of quarantine and this would make it very hard to prepare for Rome and Paris.

"This would hinder the preparation for my beloved clay court tournaments in Rome and Paris", Bertens said, indicating that she could play at the French Open, which is due to start in Paris on September 27. I hope the situation improves and we are all in very good health, "he said".



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