Simona Halep delays US Open decision to see what changes organisers ‘are gonna make’

Simona Halep press conference

Simona Halep is yet to decide if she will compete at the US Open, saying she will make a decision after the Prague Open as she needs to see what changes the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are making with regards to “travelling and stuff”.

The world No 2 is set to return to competitive tennis in the Czech Republic on Tuesday following the five-month enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But most talk in the tennis world centres around the US Open as several top players including world No 1 Ashleigh Barty, world No 5 Elina Svitolina and world No 7 Kiki Bertens have pulled out.

Double blow for US Open as two WTA top 10 stars withdraw from Flushing Meadows event

Halep initially indicated that she is unlikely to travel to the US for the hard-court Grand Slam, but her name is on the entry list.

That could still change though.

“I will decide after this tournament for sure,” she told Reuters, adding that the conditions are “tough” in the US.

“I need to get a feeling, I need to see what changes they (US Open organisers) are gonna make with travelling and stuff.

“And then I will be able to decide, take the final decision.”

The USTA is set to introduce strict health and safety measures, including a bio-secure “bubble” that players will need to stay in not only for the US Open, but also the Western & Southern Open that will also take place at Flushing Meadows.

There are also concerns over quarantine regulations for players who will fly back to Europe after the New York double header.

“I know it’s very strict, it’s a little bit stressful in my opinion,” Halep said.

“But they need those rules for the security, the health is most important, they have to take care of everyone. It’s tough for everybody to travel these days. But everyone can take their own decision and they know their priority.

“My priority is my health, the mental part and I don’t want to stress myself for anything. My final decision, when I take it, will be based on these.”

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