09:44 GMT24 September 2020
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    Ashleigh Barty, an Australian professional tennis player, is ranked number one in the world in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). In the 2019 French Open, she won the Grand Slam singles title.

    The world's number one female tennis player, Ash Barty, announced that she will not compete in the French Open this year, citing health risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and her preparation, which "has not been ideal" due to pandemic restrictions.

    "Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly... I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament. I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority", Barty stated on her Instagram account.

    According to Barty, her coach was not able to train with her due to state border closures in Australia, which has impacted her preparation. 

    A professional tennis player and former cricketer, Barty won the Grand Slam singles title at the French Open in 2019, defeating Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic.

    Barty was the first Australian player to win a French Open singles title since Margaret Court in 1973. She is ranked number one in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

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    Tags:
    coronavirus, COVID-19, French Open, tennis
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