2019 US Open semi-finalist Belinda Bencic became the latest to pull out of the Grand Slam that is scheduled to begin on August 31.
Bencic is the third 2019 semi-finalist to pull out of the 2020 US Open.
The 23-year-old Swiss wrote on social media on Saturday that she “made the difficult decision to skip the US swing in New York and will return to the tour starting in Rome next month.”
She will hence be participating in the Italian Open, a clay court tournament that is part of the buildup to the French Open which is scheduled to start on September 27.
“I would like to thank the US Open and the USTA for all their hard work and effort they have put together to have both Cincinnati and the US Open take place this month. I am looking forward to returning to New York next year and wish everyone competing there in the coming weeks the best of luck,” said Bencic.
Earlier, defending champion Bianca Andreescu and Elina Svitolina also pulled out of the tournament that is being held amidst strict protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This leaves out 2019 runner up Serena Williams as the only semi-finalist from last year to play in the tournament. Williams was also the American among the last four.
Apart from the semi-finalists, notable players to have pulled out include world no.1 Ashleigh Barty and world no.7 Kiki Bertens.