Simona Halep becomes the latest player to pull out of US Open

The 28-year-old cited the “exceptional circumstances in which we are living” in her statement on Twitter as part of her reasoning, also going on to say: “I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.”

The Romanian, who won the Prague Open on Sunday, joins a growing list of female players who have decided against participating in this year’s US Open.

The defending champion Bianca Andreescu and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty are the biggest names to have pulled out while Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic have pulled out citing Covid-19 fears.

Two-time grand slam winner Halep says she plans to remain in Europe to train. Six-time US Open winner Serena Williams, as well as Naomi Osaka, Sofia Kenin and Karolina Pliskova, have all committed to playing.

The 2020 US Open is set to begin on August 31 behind closed doors.

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In the men’s competition, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios have said they won’t be playing in New York, while Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have all said they will be competing.