Ash Barty -- the #1 ranked female tennis player in the world -- is opting out of the U.S. Open ... saying it's just too risky to play.
The 24-year-old Australian says she loves the annual tournament -- set to begin in New York on August 31 -- but she doesn't feel comfortable bringing her team into a danger zone while the pandemic is still raging in the U.S.
"My team and I have decided that we won't be travelling to the ... Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year," Barty said.
"I love both events so this was a difficult decision, but there are still significant risks involved due to COVID-19 and I don't feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position."
She added, "I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and I look forward to being back in the U.S. next year."
Australia has closed its international borders -- which would make overseas travel difficult for Barty anyway.
If she did make the trip, she would be required to spend 2 weeks in quarantine, per Australia's pandemic travel policy.