Women's tennis Simona Halep withdraws from US Open

Women's tennis Simona Halep withdraws from US Open

Six of the world's top 10 women - Ashleigh Barty, Halep, Elina Svitolina, Bianca Andreescu, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic - will now not be travelling to NY.

Halep had claimed her second title of the year on Sunday, when she beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 7-5 to win the Prague Open.

"I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision".

They include reigning champion Bianca Andreescu, world number one Ashleigh Barty, world number five Elina Svitolina, world number seven Kiki Bertens and world number eight Belinda Bencic. 6-3 to reach her second final this year.

The Prague Open is the second European tournament since the WTA restarted last week with the Palermo Open amid the coronavirus pandemic, with strict health protocols in place and no fans in the stands and no media except a television broadcaster.

Halep, 28, clinched two Grand Slam titles, including the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon.

Williams, ranked ninth, has a prime opportunity to win her 24th Grand Slam, which would put her in a tie with Margaret Court for most all-time.

Halep was victorious in her last tournament in Dubai in February before the WTA Tour hiatus and has now extended her winning streak to nine matches.

Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are the only WTA Top 10 players committed to the event this time round following a flurry of withdrawals. The Prague Open started August 10 with players required to stay in their hotel rooms for 10 days.

They have to stay in sort of a bubble from NY straight across to Italy and once you get there you got a week off before the French Open.

The positivity rate in NY has plummeted since March and the city is no longer a hotspot for the virus.

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