JORDANNE Whiley admits she would have had to choose between her health and her career if the US Open had not scrapped wheelchair tennis for 2020.

Organisers have said the Grand Slam will go ahead in New York from August 31, despite the city being hit hard by coronavirus.

The schedule will not include mixed doubles, junior or wheelchair competitions, with the latter’s omission slammed by some as discriminatory.

But it prevents Whiley from making a difficult decision, as missing the tournament would harm her world ranking in the build-up to next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

And the 11-time Slam champion, who lives in Steventon, admits she would not have felt comfortable competing.

She said: “They’re having a lot of problems over there and I’ve got a family – my son is two-and-a-half.

“I personally don’t feel it’s safe enough to go, but if wheelchair events had been included it would have been compulsory.

“I would have been stuck between risking my life and paying a fine.

“Part of me is glad I’m not making that decision, but I’m also disappointed that maybe we’re not seen as important.”

Grand Slams and singles Masters tournaments are mandatory on the wheelchair tennis tour for players who meet the qualifying criteria, with those who withdraw given a fine and zero ranking points.

September’s French Open is the next major event in Whiley’s calendar, but some of the world’s top players are now set to compete in America from August 31 to September 13.

The tournament will take place under strict bio-security measures against a backdrop of empty stands, in a country that has suffered almost 117,000 coronavirus deaths.

Whiley, 28, said: “I don’t think it should be going on.

“You can’t expect the players to perform in such an environment where it’s not what we’re used to.

“If there’s going to be that many restrictions in place it’s probably not safe.”

The absence of wheelchair events was branded “disgusting discrimination” by multiple wheelchair singles Slam winner Dylan Alcott.

Whiley added: “I totally see what Dylan has said, because by allowing able-bodied players to play you’re saying they’re more important than us.

“But if they had allowed everything to go ahead except wheelchair events I would have said that’s discrimination.”