Roland Garros: Ashleigh Barty gives up defending his title because of the coronavirus

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World number 1 Ashleigh Barty will not be in Paris to defend her Roland Garros title. The Australian has decided to forfeit following the spread of the coronavirus.

Ashleigh Barty has made it known that she will not be traveling to Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic and her lack of preparation to play at Roland Garros.

“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.” she added.

“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. ” she explained.

Barty was the first big name to retire from the US Open and five of the top 10 followed.

During the 2019 edition of Rolland Garros, Barty defeated Marketa Vondrousova to win her first major title. Later in June, Barty rose to No.1 in the WTA rankings for the first time.

The 24-year-old athlete announced in late July that she would not compete in the Western & Southern Open or the US Open in New York, citing concerns about the pandemic.

Rolland Garros will start this month in Paris, with a reduced number of spectators and strict health protocols. In total, 11,500 fans will be able to attend Roland Garros from September 27, divided into three zones around the site’s three courts.