Thursday, July 30, 2020

Barty to skip U.S. Open; WTT playoffs set

Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty said she will bypass the U.S. Open because
of coronavirus concerns. 2019 photo by Harjanto Sumali
   Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty announced today that she will skip the U.S. Open because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   "My team and I have decided that we won't be traveling to the U.S. for the Western and Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year," the 24-year-old Australian said in a statement. "I love both events, so it was a difficult decision, but there are still significant risks involved due to COVID-19, and I don't feel comfortable putting my team and (myself) in that position. I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and look forward to being back in the U.S. next year."
   The U.S. Open is scheduled to be played Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 without fans in attendance at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The French Open is set for Sept. 27 to Oct. 11 at 50 to 60 percent of spectator capacity.
   "I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks," said Barty, whose only Grand Slam singles title came last year at Roland Garros.
   Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka will play in the U.S. Open, the 2018 champion's management team told Reuters.
   WTT playoffs – The schedule for this weekend's World TeamTennis playoffs is set.
   In Saturday's semifinals on CBS Sports Network, the top-seeded Philadelphia Freedoms (12-2) will meet the fourth-seeded New York Empire (7-7) at 11 a.m. PDT, and the second-seeded Orlando Storm (10-4) will play the third-seeded Chicago Smash (9-5) at 2 p.m.
   The winners will meet for the King Trophy on Sunday at 9 a.m. on CBS.
   The teams feature reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin (Philadelphia), International Tennis Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters (New York), two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren (Orlando) and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens (Chicago). Stephens grew up in Fresno, Calif., before moving to Florida.

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