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Ashleigh Barty opts not to defend French Open title due to coronavirus

WTA’s number one ranked player Ashleigh Barty has decided not to defend her French Open tennis title this year, pulling out of the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic. take a look latest Sports News Update, only at Onlinebetnow!

She made her announcement posted on her Instagram account with her holding last year’s trophy, captioned:

“It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing 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.

“There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. 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.

“I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.

“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.”

Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal and world number two Simona Halep have also decided not to participate in the US Open to be held in New York.

Barty is expected to retain the world number one ranking despite missing the rest of the year after the WTA announced that players will retain their rankings from the 2019 season if they choose to pull out.

The French Open is due to get under way later this month, with reduced numbers of spectators with strict health protocols to be followed.

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