World Number one Ashleigh Barty, the Roland Garros 2019 champion, will not be defending her French Grand Slam this year. She has announced that she won’t participate in the French Open 2020 due to the COVID-19 risk.
After pulling out of the US Open 2020, Ashleigh has now stepped back from the clay-court Major, scheduled later this month. Having missed watching her in action at Flushing Meadows, her fans were anticipating her return to the Roland Garros.
The decision was a difficult one to make for the Aussie and her team. But the ongoing risk of the deadly virus and the lack of opportunities to train led her to the decision.
“Obviously, for us, it was a bit of a challenging decision. A decision that we mold up for many months and there was a couple of factors going into which is the COVID risk at the moment is still too much of a risk and not being able to train with my coach Craig and not have him up here in Queensland has been really tough. Preparation for us hasn’t been ideal in any sense. So it’s a challenging part but we made the decision now and feel like it’s the best decision for our team”,
The French Open 2020 might see some absentees
Usually, the French Open is conducted during the Summer. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the entire calendar. Wimbledon Championships were called off as a result too. The French Open 2020 will commence on the revised date of September 21 and will continue till October 11.
With the exclusion of Ashleigh Barty, the French Open 2020 has lost a star player. Serena Williams too is doubtful for the event owing to her health issues. Moreover, Roger Federer is already sidelined due to surgery on his knees. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, however, will both be looking to add to their ever-growing tally of Majors.