New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday said that she will not take part in the French Open, citing health risks and lack of ‘ideal’ preparation for the tournament.

World number one, who won the last year’s French Open title after defeating Marketa Vondrousova in the final, took to Instagram to announce her decision and said the health risks “still exist” because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly,” she wrote.

“There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia,” Barty added.

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Barty further stated that although she is disappointed, the health and well-being of “my family and my team will always be my priority”.

“I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament,” she wrote.

“I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again,” the player concluded. (ANI)

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