Former world No. 1 Andy Murray expects some of the top male players to follow women’s top-ranked Ash Barty in skipping next month’s US Open in New York due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian Barty said on Thursday she was not comfortable travelling to the United States amid the pandemic for the hardcourt Grand Slam, which begins on August 31.
“I have heard some of the top male players aren’t going to play. I would expect that would be the case,” Murray told British media.
“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.”
Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams have all entered the August 20-28 Western & Southern Open in New York, which was relocated from Cincinnati this year because of COVID-19 and will serve as a tune-up for the US Open.
Both tournaments will be played without fans in attendance with organisers United States Tennis Association planning to set up a strict bio-security ‘bubble’ to minimise the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
“All of the players will have some reservations and it’s whether or not you feel comfortable taking that risk,” Murray said.
“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 it.”
Murray has previously said he was still “apprehensive” about travelling to New York but he is mentally preparing for the Grand Slam.