World No 1 Ash Barty opts out of French Open Title Defence amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Byline By – Vinayak Heliwal

World number one Ashleigh Barty has decided not to defend her French Open title this year, pulling out of the tournament due to the concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a lack of training spent with her coach.

The Australian Tennis star has already skipped the US Open, currently being played in New York. Her absence from the Roland Garros will be a huge blow to organizers who were planning for a delayed start of the tournament amid the pandemic in France.

The 24-year-Old Australian, who beat Marketa Vondrousova in the 2019 final at Roland Garros to win her first Grand Slam Title said, she would not be playing at all 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”, Barty said in a statement on Instagram.

Ash Barty explained that she had been unable to reunite with her Melbourne-based coach because of the state border closures imposed in Australia to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Queenslander will be training at home in Queensland in preparation for the coming summer of tennis on the home ground.Barty, along with big names including compatriot Nick Kyrgios and a total of six of the Women’s Top 10, chose to stay away from the US open citing COVID Concerns.

The French Open was originally scheduled to start in May but was moved back to September 27-October 11 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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