New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) World No.1 and reigning champion Ashleigh Barty has confirmed that she will not participate in the French Open scheduled to be played later this month due to health concerns and a lack of preparation. Barty also 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.
“There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid-19. 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.”
The 24-year-old, who had defeated Marketa Vondrousova in the 2019 final at Roland Garros to win her first Grand Slam title, further stated that although she is disappointed, the health and well-being of her family and team would always be her priority.
“I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament,” Barty wrote.
“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,” she concluded.
The French Open was originally scheduled to start in May but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was moved back to September 27-October 11.