Former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has joined a growing list of players who have decided not to play in this year’s tournament due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.Russian tennis player Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Russian world number 32 announced her decision on Instagram where she also said she would skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 U.S. Open.

The 35-year-old Kuznetsova beat compatriot Elena Dementieva in the 2004 U.S. Open final to win the first of her two career Grand Slam titles.

In her most recent New York appearance, Kuznetsova suffered a shock first-round defeat to teenage qualifier Kristie Ahn in 2019 after having struggled for much of the last year with a wrist injury.

World number one Ash Barty, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are among the other leading players who have also decided to skip this year’s U.S. Open because of the virus.

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