World No. 1 Ash Barty was applauded for her ‘difficult decision’ to skip the US Open over coronavirus fears, but unfortunately she was met with some derision over the move.
The Aussie, along with Nick Kyrgios, opted to miss the US Open due to Covid-19 still ravaging America and said it was best for her team to stay put.
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"My team and I have decided that we won't be travelling to the US, and (the) Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year," Barty 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 I in that position.”
But some fans took exception to her choosing to not take part in the Grand Slam.
However, after some discussion on social media, US writers pointed out Barty’s decision was best for her and it shouldn’t be met with criticism.
“Surprised — though we shouldn’t be — at how many people are taking issue with Ash Barty declining to play the US Open,” Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim tweeted.
“For the foreseeable future there is an outright ban on second-guessing any player’s decision to forgo an event.”
Surprised - though we shouldn’t be - at how many people are taking taking issue with Ash Barry’s declining to play @usopen ...for the foreseeable future there is an outright ban on second-guessing any player’s decision to forgo an event.....— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) July 30, 2020
World No.1 Ash Barty has confirmed she won’t be playing the US Open.— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) July 29, 2020
She won’t be the last. If the event happens, it will be weird. We know this. Everything is weird currently.
Nothing but respect for Ash Barty’s decision to choose not to play the #USOpen. We are living in a new reality. Doesn’t matter if you’re ranked No.1 or 100, if you’re not confident in traveling and going out in the world, you get to make that choice not to. Stay well Ash 🙌🏼— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) July 30, 2020
New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey also defended her decision.
“Strange amount of dismissive commentary about Barty's withdrawal from US Open,” he tweeted.
“She's no dominant force yet but let's be clear: Any tennis tournament with Ash Barty in the field is a better tennis tournament.”
Sports reporter for the Olympic Channel Nick McCarvel praised her decision.
“Nothing but respect for Ash Barty’s decision to choose not to play the #USOpen. We are living in a new reality,” he said on Twitter.
“Doesn’t matter if you’re ranked No.1 or 100, if you’re not confident in traveling and going out in the world, you get to make that choice not to. Stay well Ash.”
Andy Murray defends Ash Barty
Murray claims to have heard some of the top men's players will also pull out, even though his commitment to travel to the US remains firm.
"The Ash Barty withdrawal, I think we will see it quite a bit," said former world No.1 Murray.
"I have heard some of the top male players aren't going to play. I would expect that would be the case. It's everyone's personal decision.
"If they don't feel safe and don't feel comfortable travelling and going there and putting themselves and their team at an increased risk, then it's completely understandable.
"All of the players will have some reservations and it's whether or not you feel comfortable taking that risk. Like I said the other day, my feeling is once we are inside that bubble they created, we will be OK.
"It's more the international travel and getting there which I will be a bit concerned about."