Simona Halep confirms decision not to play US Open

2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will skip the US Open, saying Monday she is putting her health first and prefers to stay in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Halep, a former No. 1-ranked player who is currently No. 2, won the title in Prague on Sunday.

"After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen," Halep tweeted. "I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe."

Halep's decision confirms her perspective in June, when she said she did not plan to play in the US Open. She had left open the possibility of changing her mind at that time, saying the decision was "not set in stone."

Her best showing at Flushing Meadows was a semifinal appearance in 2015.

Halep lauded the U.S. Tennis Association and WTA for having "worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament."

Irina Khromacheva of Russia will replace Halep in the main draw, according to the USTA.

Six of the top eight women in the WTA rankings won't play in New York. No. 1 Ash Barty and defending champion Bianca Andreescu have also withdrawn from the tournament. Other women who won't be playing include No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 7 Kiki Bertens and No. 8 Belinda Bencic.

Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh and Australia's Priscilla Hon also have withdrawn. That moves American Usue Arconada and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine into the main draw, and Allie Kiick of the U.S. receives the wild card previously awarded to Arconada.

Rafael Nadal, the men's defending champion, has also withdrawn from the tournament, but top-ranked Novak Djokovic has said he will play. Roger Federer is out for the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.

Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 US Open champion, is also out, along with Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios.

The US Open is scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on Aug. 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.