The current womens number one Ashleigh Barty has decided to pull out of this years USD Open.
The 24-year old Australia has made the decision because of her continued concerns about the coronavirus pandemic in the USA, where the death toll from the virus has now passed 150,000. She has yet to make up her mind whether she will play in the rescheduled French Open.
In deciding to withdraw both from the US Open, and the Western and South Open which precedes it at Flushing Meadows in New York, Barty felt that she could not expose either herself or her support entourage to the health risks associated with playing the events at this time.
Whilst her decision to pull out is not a major surprise she has been expressing her disquiet for some time it is still a blow to tournament organisers.
Another player whose participation is in doubt is world number two, Simona Halep, who has expressed her own reservations about playing the event.
Halep, who has been forced to miss the rescheduled start to the WTA season in Palermo because of travel restrictions preventing Romanian citizens entering Italy, is amongst the prominent names who have not entered the Western and Southern event. Other absentees include world number five Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu, who is due to defend her title in New York.
At this stage, it is not known what their intentions are regarding the US Open.
However, there was better news for the USTA (United States Tennis Association) with the announcement that the 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka will be playing both events.
There had been suggestions that she too would choose to sit them out, but they have been rubbished by her management team in an email confirming that she would be playing.
Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have signed-up for the warm-up event, indicating that they are likely to take part in the US Open as well.
And they have been joined by Bartys compatriot Nick Kyrgios, who, as recently as last month, branded the ATP as selfish for their plans to proceed with the scheduling of the US Open.