MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova announced her decision on Wednesday to skip the 2020 US Open citing fears over the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in June that the prestigious Grand Slam tennis tournament in the United States, the 2020 US Open, would be hosted by New York in line with the initial schedule, namely between August 31 and September 13, but without spectators in attendance.
"I’ve been thinking a lot and decided not to play US Open this year," the 29-year-old Russian tennis player stated on her Instagram page on Wednesday. "It wasn’t easy because I hadn’t missed any Grand Slam in my entire carrier. Tennis is almost everything for me."
"The main reason is insecurity, US Open doesn’t provide any guarantees," Pavlyuchenkova continued. "I don’t feel comfortable to travel to USA in such circumstances."
"Thanks WTA [the Women Tennis Assiciation] and USTA [the United States Tennis Association] that give us a chance to play," Pavlyuchenkova, who is currently ranked by the WTA as World’s No. 30, said.
"From this moment, every player is on his own," she said. "My team and I have decided it would be for the best not to participate."
Less than a week ago, World’s No. 1 female tennis player Ashleigh Barty of Australia voiced her decision to skip the Grand Slam tennis tournament in the United States.
Ranked by the ATP as World’s No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain stated earlier in the day that he decided against traveling to New York for the 2020 US Open.
Earlier in the year, the Women Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) announced their joint decision to suspend indefinitely all tennis tournaments until July 31 due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
The United States is currently the leading country in terms of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, which exceed 4,919,140. The COVID-19 death toll in the country is over 160,335. Over 2,482,900 patients have been reported to have recovered from the virus.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 18,741,130 people have been infected worldwide and more than 705,140 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 11,953,190 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.