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World number one Ashleigh Barty withdraws from WTA finals, ends season


Ashleigh Barty has not played since a shock in the third round during the US Open in September.© Instagram

World number one and Wimbledon Champion Ashleigh Barty ended the WTA final on Saturday and decided to stay home and focus on preparing for the Australian summer. The Australian has not played since a shock in the third round of the US Open in September, and has now formally ended a year in which she won five titles, including a second major at Wimbledon after her triumph in the French Open in 2019. “I wanted to let everyone know that I will not be participating in any other tournaments in 2021, including the WTA final in Mexico,” the 25-year-old said in a statement.

“It was a difficult decision, but I have to prioritize my body and my recovery from our 2021 season and focus on having the strongest pre-season for the Australian summer.”

Barty won the WTA final in 2019 before last year’s version was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She spent most of this year abroad due to strict quarantine rules for entering Australia, eventually returning in September and undergoing a mandatory period of two weeks in hotel isolation.

She said she was not ready to undergo it again, and put an end to the hope of playing the WTA final in Guadalajara next month.

“With the ongoing challenges of traveling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not prepared to jeopardize my preparation for January,” she said.

“I wish the WTA team and the players all the best for a successful WTA final and the rest of the year.”

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Barty is now focusing on the Australian Open in Melbourne Park, which will resume its traditional period in January 2022 after a pandemic-forced delay this year.

A number of WTA events are being held in the weeks leading up to the Grand Slam season, although pandemics have yet to be decided in Australia.

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