Tennis

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep latest to opt out of U.S. Open

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will skip the U.S. Open, saying Monday she is putting her health first and prefers to stay in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Joins 2019 champ Bianca Andreescu and world No. 1 Ash Barty in not playing

Romania's Simona Halep, sporting a mask after winning the Prague Open on Sunday, announced Monday that she will skip the U.S. Open over concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images)

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will skip the U.S. Open, saying Monday she is putting her health first and prefers to stay in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Halep, a former top-ranked player who is currently No. 2, won the title in Prague on Sunday. Canada's Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open women's champion and only Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, announced last week she would not play in the tournament.

"After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the (at)usopen," Halep wrote on Twitter. "I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe."

Including Andreescu, six of the top eight women in the WTA rankings won't play in New York, including world No. 1 Ash Barty.

Other women who won't be playing include No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 7 Kiki Bertens and No. 8 Belinda Bencic. Irina Khromacheva of Russia will replace Halep in the main draw, according to the United States Tennis Association.

The U.S. Open is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Aug. 31.

WATCH: Halep wins Prague Open final in straight sets:

Halep defeats Mertens in Prague Open final

2 years ago
Duration 0:31
Romanian Simona Halep broke Belgium's Elise Mertens for a 6-5 lead in the final set of their match on Sunday.

"I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament," Halep wrote.

Irina Khromacheva of Russia will replace Halep in the main draw, according to the USTA.

Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh and Australia's Priscilla Hon also have withdrawn. That moves American Usue Arconada and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine into the main draw, and Allie Kiick of the U.S. receives the wild card previously awarded to Arconada.

Rafael Nadal, the men's defending champion, has also withdrawn from the tournament, but top-ranked Novak Djokovic has said he will play. Roger Federer is out for the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.

Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, is also out, along with Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios.

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