World number 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has become the latest player to withdraw from this year’s US Open citing Coronavirus concerns, with the Russian set to absent at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2008 Australian Open.
Pavlyuchenkova, who has reached the last eight at all four Grand Slam and has won 12 WTA singles titles, said on Twitter, “I’ve been thinking a lot and decided not to play (sic)US Open this year.” It will be the first time in 12 years that the Russian has missed a slam tournament, ending an astonishing run of 47 straight appearances across the four biggest tournaments in tennis.
After the withdrawals of world number one Ashleigh Barty and world number 29 Wang Qiang, Pavlyuchenkova is the third highest ranked player on the WTA Tour to so far withdraw from the tournament in New York, which is taking place behind closed doors due to the ongoing pandemic. The likes of former Wimbledon semifinalist Julia Goerges and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur are amongst the other WTA players to have withdrawn.
It seems incredibly likely that Pavlyuchenkova will not be the last player to withdraw from the tournament, with the likes of Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, and Petra Kvitova amongst the high profile players to express doubts about playing in New York this summer. The men’s draw has been hit by more withdrawals so far, with the likes of defending champion Rafael Nadal and former champion Stan Wawrinka not entered.
The action is set to begin on August 31st at the USTA National Tennis Centre. WTA action resumed earlier this week in Palermo, whilst the ATP will return a week prior to the US Open and the Western and Southern Open.