First, it was our golden girl and world No.1 Ash Barty who chose to pull out of the US Open due to coronavirus fears.
Barty revealed she was not comfortable about travelling during the pandemic and didn’t want to put herself or her team at risk.
“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 said in a statement issued by her manager.
“I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks,” Barty said.
Barty was soon followed by fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios, with the star pulling out just days later.
The 25-year-old revealed his decision on his social media channels, slamming tennis payers and officials for pushing through with the event during the pandemic.
“We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost.
“I’ve got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely. No one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works at the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants. These are the people that need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.” Kyrgios said
It has now been confirmed that a third Australian tennis star won’t be competing in the US Open with rising star Alexei Popyrin withdrawing from the tournament.
The 21-year-old, ranked 103rd, is following in the footsteps of Barty and Kyrgios.
Although his reason for withdrawal was not given, it is believed that his decision was due to the current circumstances with ongoing concerns related to COVID-19.
Popyrin’s withdrawal means that former champion Andy Murray moves into the main draw, having already been awarded a wild card by the organisers.