Citing ongoing COVID-19 concerns and lack of preparation due coronavirus restrictions in Australia, Ashleigh Barty will not play any of the upcoming tournaments in Europe, including the French Open where she was supposed to be defending her title.
The world No.1, who is also skipping the ongoing US Open, explained on Instagram:
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.
Being forced to sit out the rest of the 2020 season, Barty is turning her focus to the next year:
I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia.
The rescheduled French Open, set to take place from September 27th to October 11th, will be the first tournament to have audience since the international circuit restarted. A total of 11,500 spectators will be allowed on site, split into three zones based on the venue’s three main courts.