US Open 2019 Arthur Ashe court

‘I refuse to play’ – US Open loses another former champion from draw as coronavirus concerns continue

The US Open will be without another of its former champions after 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova said she is ‘refusing’ to play.

The women’s draw has already been hit with a spate of high-profile withdrawals headed by current world number one Ashleigh Barty.

Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens, who are also in the current top ten have pulled out as well, as has Julia Goerges and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur.

Now, Svetlana Kuznetsova can be added to that list, along with Barbora Strycova, who reached the Wimbledon semi-final last year.

“Due to an unfavourable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the US Open,” Kuznetsova announced on social media.

“I feel very sad, because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans.

“I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.