By Benjamin Cooper, PA
World number one Ashleigh Barty will not defend her season-ending WTA Finals title nor compete further in 2021 due to quarantine restrictions in her native Australia.
The 25-year-old, who spent two weeks in quarantine after returning from the US Open in September to her home in Brisbane, said she is “not willing to compromise my preparation for January” when the Australian Open is scheduled to begin.
“I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” Barty said in a statement on Saturday.
“It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritise my body and my recovery from our 2021 season and focus on having the strongest preseason for the Australian summer.
“With the ongoing challenges of travelling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not willing to compromise my preparation for January. I wish the WTA team and the players all the best for a successful WTA Finals and rest of the year. ”
“My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open. I can’t wait to play at home again.”
Barty claimed a maiden grand slam crown at Roland Garros in 2019 prior to winning Wimbledon this year.
Prior to her third-round exit at the US Open, Barty had been on the road since March.
She endured an up and down time, winning Wimbledon and four other tournaments, but also having to retire injured in the French Open and losing in the first round at the Olympics.