Reigning world champion Ash Barty has just pulled out of this month’s French Open due to, well, all this coronavirus shit that’s still going on.

In a post on Instagram, Barty explained that the decision was tough but necessary.

“It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year,” she wrote.

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

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It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. 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 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. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again.

A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty) on

Right off the bat (or racket?), Barty cited health risks as one of the deciding factors. Obviously, a global pandemic is a bad time to be travelling to the other side of the world to compete in a major sporting event.

The second reason is also related to the pandemic, but at a much more local level.

Because of state border closures within Australia, Barty hasn’t been able to train with her coach Craig Tyzzer.

Barty said because of this, her preparation leading up to the tournament “has not been ideal.”

“I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia,” she added.

“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.”

Back in July, Barty also announced she was pulling out of the US Open, which is actually happening right now.

While a bunch of other players ignore social distancing recommendations and do other dumb shit, it’s nice to see the World Number 1 tennis player lead by example.

Fingers crossed for next year.

Image: Getty Images / Andy Cheung