Barty ends 2021 campaign early

23 October 2021 23:22:35 GMTPlus11
Barty will not play until 2022

World number one Ashleigh Barty has announced she will not be defending her WTA Finals title after deciding to bring her campaign to an early conclusion.

Barty, who is 5/1 to win the 2022 Australian Open, has enjoyed a strong year, capturing her second Grand Slam title by winning Wimbledon in the summer.

Top female

The Australian also won four other WTA events to maintain her status as the top female player on the planet and was scheduled to head to Guadalajara, Mexico in November for the season-ending finals.

My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open.

Ashleigh Barty

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Barty won the last edition of the tournament in 2019 but has decided to relinquish her title in order to rest up and prepare for the 2022 campaign.

"It was a difficult decision," said the 25-year-old, who hasn't played since exiting the third round of the US Open in September, returning to Brisbane after the defeat.

"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.

"My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open."

Opportunity

Barty's withdrawal from the WTA Finals opens up a spot for another member of the world’s top-10 to qualify.

Seven women have already booked their places in the event with Aryna Sabalenka now the top seed in the absence of Barty.

Ons Jabeur is in the box seat for the last spot but her participation could be in doubt after she had to retire from her Kremlin Cup encounter with Ekaterina Alexandrova on Tuesday.

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