World No 1 Ashleigh Barty admits she has ‘concerns too’ about the US Open

Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty insists she will only return to tennis once it is “safe to do so”, saying she has “concerns” over playing at the US Open in New York.

Tennis has been on a break since the start of March with August 1 the date pencilled in for a possible return with the US Open scheduled to start on August 31.

However, there are storm clouds hanging over the Flushing Meadows hard-court Grand Slam as New York is the epicentre of the coronavirus in the United States.

Organisers have already hinted that should the US Open go ahead, then there will be several restrictions in place, including players getting tested several times a week and players being limited to one support member.

Men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal are among players who have raised concerns about the tournament and Barty also falls into that camp.

“I have concerns too,” she told The Associated Press in an email.

“I understand the tournaments are eager to run but keeping everyone safe has to be the priority.”

She added: “I can’t wait to get back out there and play but we have to make sure it’s safe to do so first, not just for me but for my team.”

Barty, though, is likely to get a chance to defend her Roland Garros title in September as the French Open was moved due to Covid-19.

However, the Australian admits it is tough to set “tennis goals” for the remainder of the year.

“It’s tough to set goals, that’s for sure, (when) we still don’t really know what the rest of the year will look like, there is so much out of our control,” she said.

“When we have some certainty on the rest of the year, my team and I will sit down and set a few tennis goals.”

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