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Wimbledon champion Halep opts out of playing at US Open

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

Halep, a former No. 1-ranked player who is currently No. 2, won the title in Prague on Sunday.

“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.”

Six of the top-eight women in the WTA rankings won’t play in New York. No. 1 Ash Barty and defending champion Bianca Andreescu have also withdrawn from the tournament.

“I know the (at)usta and (at)WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament,” Halep wrote.