Reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep says she is yet to decided whether to play at the US Open but added she dreaded “tough conditions” posed by the journey.
“I haven’t made the final decision yet,” said the 28-year-old Romanian, who will be playing a WTA tournament on a clay court in Prague next week.
“The travelling from Europe is a little bit tough with changing flights – we don’t have straight flights – so it’s going to be tough for me personally, mentally,” she told a video conference.
“I don’t want to put myself into that stress. As I said I haven’t decided yet, but the conditions are tough for me at this moment.
World number one Ashleigh Barty has said she is skipping the US Open amid the virus spread, just like Kiki Bertens, Elina Svitolina or Rafael Nadal.
Halep, who pulled out of the first post-lockdown WTA tournament in Palermo this week over virus concerns, is now in Prague as the top seed.
This is her first trip abroad since February as she spent the lockdown in her native Romania.
“I’m a bit nervous but things are very controlled here and very safe so I feel safe,” said Halep.
The organisers of the Prague tournament put all players and staff in a single eight-storey hotel booked for the occasion to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contagion.
Regular temperature checks are a must, just like face masks which the players have to wear unless they are playing, training or eating. Despite the tough measures, Halep relished the return to tennis.
“I’m happy to be back, I’m happy to be healthy,” said Halep.
“It’s a bit weird after so many months to play a tournament, I’m a bit nervous… but I feel ready,”she added Halep surprised hot favorite Serena Williams in the Women final of last year’s Wimbledon Open clinching the title 6-2, 6-2 in just 56 minutes.
The US Open is billed for Mon, 31 Aug 2020 – Sun, 13 Sep 2020