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Defending champion Ashleigh Barty to miss French Open over COVID-19 risks

Barty had also pulled out from the ongoing US Open over COVID-19 concerns
Defending champion Ashleigh Barty to miss French Open over COVID-19 risks
Defending champion Ashleigh Barty to miss French Open over C

ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS French Open defending champion Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday announced her decision to withdraw from the grand slam tournament at Roland Garros, for lack of preparations in addition to health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world number one had also pulled out from the ongoing US Open over COVID-19 concerns.

Barty took to Instagram to announce her decision, calling last year’s French Open “the most special tournament” of her career. However, she added that the health and well-being of her family and team will be priority.

“It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly.

“There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia.

“I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.

“I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. 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. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again,” the 24-year-old wrote along with a picture of her holding the French Open trophy, her first grand slam title.

Barty has not played a tournament match since February, but has said that she will focus on training at home in Queensland in preparation for the coming summer of tennis.

The French Open was originally scheduled to start in May but was postponed to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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