Australian Open champ Ash Barty withdraws from Indian Wells, Miami tournaments

Associated PressUpdated: Friday, March 04, 2022, 09:57 AM IST
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Ash Barty | Photo: AFP

Ash Barty, the world's top-ranked female tennis player, pulled out of Indian Wells and the Miami Open citing a need for ongoing recovery after winning the Australian Open.

Indian Wells begins next week, and had she played it would have been Barty's first appearance there since 2019. The Miami Open, where Barty is the two-time defending champion, begins March 21.

"Unfortunately, my body has not recovered the way I'd hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami," Barty said on Thursday.

"I don't believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments.

"I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus."

Her withdrawal means that Indian Wells will be without both players who made the women's final at the season's first major. Danielle Collins, the top-ranked American in the women's rankings at No. 11, cited ongoing injuries in her decision to not play there.

Miami Open tournament director James Blake said he hopes Barty can make a quick return.

"I know this was an extremely difficult decision for Ashleigh and understand the importance for players to prioritize their health," Blake said.

Barty ended a 44-year drought for Australian women at the Australian Open when she won the singles title at Melbourne Park in late January. It was her third Grand Slam singles title and her first on hardcourts after her victories on grass at Wimbledon and on clay at the French Open.

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