Who will miss the US Open and Why? The complete list…
As last-minute withdrawals for the US Open accumulate, let’s take stock of those absent from this 2020 edition.
Rarely in history has a Grand Slam suffered so many defections. Covid-19 pandemic, injuries or choice of calendar, the reasons for the multiple withdrawals for the 2020 edition of the US Open (August 31-September 13) are diverse. But as the days go by, the list of participants keeps getting smaller. Here is a recap of the players who will not (or probably not) participate in the New York Grand Slam.
Withdrawals related to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Ashleigh Barty (No 1): The Australian elected to skip the US Open and the Cincinnati tournament out of concerns for health and safety. “I love these two tournaments and it was a tough decision, but there are still significant risks with Covid-19 and I don’t want to put my staff in this situation,” she said.
- Rafael Nadal (No 2): The world No 2 has decided not to take part in the tournament “after careful consideration”. He announced the news on social networks, saying: “It’s a decision I wish I never had to make but I have decided to follow my heart this time around and for now I’d rather not travel.” The Mallorcan, defending champion in New York, is now the only ATP player in the Open Era to have not defended a US Open title twice.
- Simona Halep (No 2): The women’s draw will also be missing the World No 2, as the Romanian announced, the day after her Prague title, she will skip the US Open. “I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe”, Halep posted on Twitter.
- Elina Svitolina (No 5): On Twitter, the Ukrainian expressed worries about the health situation: “I am still not sure I can travel to the United States without putting my team and myself in danger,” she declared.
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) August 7, 2020
- Bianca Andreescu (No 6): For the first time since 2003, both singles champions will skip out on defending their title as Andreescu announced that she’s not quite fit enough to compete on social media on August 13. “I realise that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level,” she said.
- Kiki Bertens (No 7): The Dutchwoman preferred to cancel her American tour in order to ensure participation in the clay court season in Europe: “Our Prime Minister said yesterday (Thursday that we should be quarantined for 14 days after) our return from the US. Of course we respect that as a team that would disrupt our preparation for the clay court tournaments that I promised you in Rome and Paris,” she told her fans on Instagram.
- Belinda Bencic (No 8): The Swiss announced her withdrawal on August 15, saying “I have made the difficult decision to skip the US swing in New York and will return to the tour starting in Rome next month.”
- Gaël Monfils (No 9): The Frenchman, one of the first Top 10 players to notify the public that he wasn’t going to play in North America this summer, has not officially explained the reasons for choosing not to play in Flushing Meadows. But his companion, Elina Svitolina, explained on Twitter that she was giving up the American tour (Cincinnati and US Open) due to health concerns.
- Stanislas Wawrinka (No 17): Winner of the 2016 US Open, and the last player to save match points en route to a US Open title, the Swiss will not take part in Cincinnati or New York.
- Qiang Wang (No 29): In a statement, the Chinese revealed that the current health crisis had pushed her to separate, by mutual agreement, from her coach. Additionally, she said she will not to participate in the US Open.
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No 30): In an interview with Tennis Majors, the Russian explained her withdrawal, announced on Twitter a few days earlier: “I did not feel comfortable with the situation, the bubble … It’s a personal decision, for me and my team. I feel better, mentally, not to go.” Pavlyuchenkova had played 48 consecutive main draws at the Grand Slams.
I’ve been thinking a lot and decided not to play US Open @usopen this year. It wasn’t easy because I hadn’t missed any Grand Slam in my entire carrier. Tennis is almost everything for me. https://t.co/5n0wKAd1rl pic.twitter.com/Xduv0unej1
— Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (@NastiaPav) August 5, 2020
- Julia Georges (No 38): The German, like so many others, says that she does not want to take risks for the safety of her staff and herself. She also fears the prospect of having to quarantine upon returning from the United States, which would put her appearances at Rome and Roland-Garros in jeopardy.
- Nick Kyrgios (No 40): With his opinions on the importance of putting health first apparent after his stance taken regarding the Adria Tour fiasco, the Australian does not consider tennis to be the priority at the moment: “I’m doing this for people,” he said in a video statement that announced his official withdrawal from the US Open. “Australians, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision. Like it or not, and these are my reasons.” Later, he clarified: “What is important is the health and safety of the community. We can rebuild our sport and our economy, but we never recover the lives lost.”
- Jelena Ostapenko (No 41): Crowned at Roland Garros in 2017, the Latvian chose to guarantee her safety by not travelling to New York: “America is not in my plans, it is too dangerous for now and I don’t want to risk my health or the health of others.”
- Fiona Ferro (No 43): The Frenchwoman has elected to skip New York, after injuring her rib at Palermo, where she won the title. She is likely to resume her season at Strasbourg or Rome.
- Su-Wei Hsieh (No 56): A delight off the court but a nightmare to play against off the court, Hsieh announced on Monday, Aug. 17 that she will not play the US Open. Hsieh is reigning Wimbledon Ladies’ doubles champion (along with Barbora Strycova) and is extremely dangerous in singles, as well.
- Lucas Pouille (No 58): At the beginning of July, the coach of the Frenchman, Loïc Courteau, told beIN Sports that his player had changed his mind in view of the outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the United States. Pouille had also had to give up the Ultimate Tennis Showdown due to a right elbow injury, not fully healed, and which required a minor surgical intervention.
- Alexei Popyrin (No 103): While playing UTS, the young Australian assured Tennis Majors in early July that he would not participate in the US Open: “I don’t think I will go this year, and I never really wanted to play the US Open. Considering the current situation in America, it’s very complicated to go to the United States and play the US Open. I think it is a big risk for everyone for the tournament to go ahead. “
- Priscilla Hon (No 134): Hon gained direct entry into the US Open main draw when Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew, but now Hon herself has also pulled out. She made that decision on Monday, Aug. 17. Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine is no among those getting into the field.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova (No 32): “I feel sad because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans,” declared the Russian, who won the US Open in 2004.
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Друзья! В связи с неблагоприятной ситуацией из-за короновируса, а также отсутствием возможности организовать необходимые перелеты для сбора моей команды, я приняла сложное для себя решение – отказаться от участия в Cincinnati и US Open 😔 Мне очень жаль, так как я сильно ждала этих турниров, но пандемия изменила все планы. Надеюсь, что к следующим соревнованиям ситуация в мире станет стабильнее. Всем участникам и болельщикам желаю удачи и здоровья! Берегите себя и своих близких! 🙏 // Dear friends, Due to an unfavorable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the US Open 😔 I feel very sad, because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans. I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments. I wish good luck and strong health to all participants and fans! Take care of yourself and your family! 🙏
Injury, birth, illness … The other big absentees
- Roger Federer (No 4): The Swiss had announced, via social networks, that he would end his season in June. Plagued by recurring right knee problems, Federer had chosen to undergo surgery during the Covid-19 break. Despite his absence from official competition until the end of the 2020 season, the Swiss has already returned to training for a few days.
- Fabio Fognini (No 11): The coach of the Italian, Corrado Barazzutti, told Ubitennis that his protégé “would not be ready” if the US Open was actually to be held.
- Pierre-Hugues Herbert (No 71): With his wife soon to give birth, the Frenchman does not wish to take any risk when it comes to attending the birth of his child: “We do not know what can happen. If I am training with someone who catches the Covid-19, I’m in quarantine there while my future wife gives birth on her own and I don’t see my baby for two weeks: that’s the scenario I absolutely don’t want to go through. “
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No 49): The Frenchman, who usually has a lot of trouble traveling by plane because of his illness (sickle cell disease), preferred to say no to the American Grand Slam.
- Zheng Saisai (No 34), Zhu Lin (No 74), Anastasia Potapova (No 84), Ana Bogdan (No 92), Samantha Stosur (No 97) and Barbora Krejcikova (No 115 and No 8 in doubles) also do not appear on the Entry list of this US Open.
Still in doubt
- Matteo Berrettini (No 8): The Italian player reached the semi-finals in Flushing Meadows last year, but he revealed La Stampa that he had not taken a decision yet.
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