Former champion Stan Wawrinka has confirmed he will not play the US Open citing “the health situation in New York – another huge hit for the grand slam event.
Wawrinka, the US Open winner in 2016, was already missing from the entry list along with four-time champion Rafael Nadal and controversial Aussie star Nick Kyrgios. Now, the 35-year-old will instead focus on Roland Garros where he won his second career major in 2015.
There is the health situation which is particular in New York. I did not want to go the US under these conditions, the World No.17, also the 2014 Australian Open champion, told RTS in Switzerland.
Players at the US Open, which starts on August 31, will be subject to tight health controls to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. It will also be played behind closed doors. And the sequence of tournaments which follows after the US Open will be tough, he added, referring to the Italian Open which starts a week after the conclusion of the New York event.
Roland Garros, delayed from May-June, will then start in Paris on September 27. Finally, there are all the uncertainties related to the quarantine issue. There are still many questions and doubts about the holding of the US Open, he added. Earlier on Friday, top 10 women’s players Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens also announced they will skip the US Open.
Svitolina was a semi-finalist at the 2019 event before losing to Serena Williams. The two join World No.1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia on the list of women’s players who have decided not to play due to concerns involving the coronavirus pandemic.
Svitolina also cited travel concerns during her announcement on Friday morning on her Twitter account. Considering all the aspects, I have decided not to play the US Open 2020, Svitolina wrote. I want to thank the USTA, organisers and the WTA for giving the players a chance to play and the fans a chance to watch this great event.
I understand and respect all the efforts they are putting to make it happen in a safe environment, but I still don’t feel comfortable to travel to the US without putting my team and myself at high risk.