Barty won't defend French Open title

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World number one Ashleigh Barty will not defend her French Open title.

Barty, 24, was last in action in February, having opted to skip the US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian has decided against defending her crown in Paris due to COVID-19 and concerns over her preparation.

"It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year," Barty wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

"Last year's French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly.

"There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with COVID. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia.

"I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.

"I now look forward to a long pre-season 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 wellbeing of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can't wait to play for you again."

Roland Garros is due to begin on September 27 with fans in attendance.