World No.2 Simona Halep has followed the lead of Australia’s top-ranked Ash Barty by becoming the sixth player in the women’s top 10 to withdraw from the US Open.
Romanian Halep tweeted on Monday she would not travel to New York to take part in the grand slam tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.
“After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the US Open,” the reigning Wimbledon champion wrote on Twitter.
“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.
“I know the USTA and WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament.”
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) August 17, 2020
Halep, a two-time grand slam champion, has opted to stay in Europe.
Barty officially pulled out of the Flushing Meadows event late last month.
Defending champion and world No.6 Bianca Andreescu, fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina, world No.7 Kiki Bertens and eighth-ranked Swiss Belinda Bencic are among the other high-profile absentees.
The US Open will start on August 31.