Kuznetsova withdraws from US Open due to covid concerns

Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has joined a growing list of players who have decided not to play in this year’s tournament due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Russian world No 32 announced her decision on Instagram where she also said she would skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the US Open, which runs from August 31-September 13.

“Due to an unfavorable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team, I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the U.S. Open,” said Kuznetsova.

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“I feel very sad, because I have been waiting for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans. I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments.”

In her most recent New York appearance, Kuznetsova suffered a shock first-round loss to teenage qualifier Kristie Ahn in 2019 after having struggled for much of the last year with a wrist injury.

World number one Ash Barty, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are among the other leading players who have also decided to skip this year’s U.S. Open because of the virus.

The 35-year-old Russian, who also won the 2009 French Open, has been ranked as high as No. 2 in singles. She is currently No. 32, which would have put her in line to be seeded at Flushing Meadows.

Three of the top seven women in the rankings, including No. 1 Ash Barty, have pulled out of the US Open, as have the defending men’s champion, Rafael Nadal, and others such as Stanislas Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios.

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