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U.S. Open 2020: MORE players announce withdrawal as Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens PULL OUT of Grand Slam event

U.S. Open 2020: MORE players announce withdrawal as Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens PULL OUT of Grand Slam event
Two more top-10-ranked women's players have confirmed their withdrawal from the U.S. Open tournament, with Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina both announcing they will not be in action at Flushing Meadows.

World No. 5 Svitolina and No. 7 Bertens, ranked seventh, have joined a growing list of players who have opted out of this month's Grand Slam tournament in New York due to COVID-19 concerns.

Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal and women's No. 1 Ash Barty have already confirmed they will not be participating in both the main tournament and the Western & Southern Open that serves as a warm-up event for the U.S. Open.

"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 U.S. without putting my team and myself at high risk," Svitolina posted on Twitter.

Bertens posted a similar statement on her Instagram, saying, "After long consideration I have decided not to go to the states for Cincinnati and the Us open. The situation around COVID-19 is still that worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority.

"Our prime minister indicated yesterday that we should be quarantined for 14 days after coming back from the States. Of course, we respect this as a team and this would disturb our preparation for my beloved clay-court tournaments in Rome and Paris. I hope the situation will soon take a positive turn and wish everyone good health. Take care!" 

U.S. Open organizers are creating a bio-secure "bubble" in New York to hold the tournament safely from August 31.

Also on rt.com 'I'd rather not travel': Defending champion Rafael Nadal PULLS OUT of U.S. Open citing Covid-19 situation

The event is set to go ahead without spectators, but concerns over player safety, plus the possibility of mandatory quarantines adding further periods of inactivity to player schedules has led to a number of players opting to withdraw.

to hold the tournament from Aug. 31 without spectators. But concerns remain about whether players would face mandatory quarantines upon returning home from the U.S. Open.

Former world No. 1 and 2012 U.S. Open champion Andy Murray said players traveling to New York need to receive suitable assurances that they will not be forced into mandatory quarantine upon their return to Europe from the United States.

The Italian Open is set to take place in Rome on Sep. 20, with the year's next big Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, set to go ahead at Roland Garros the following week.

Also on rt.com 'I don’t feel comfortable to travel to the USA': Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova cites COVID-19 concerns as reason for U.S. Open opt-out