World No 1 Barty withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami, aims for April return

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the upcoming WTA 1000 hard court events — BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California and the Miami Open, citing a need for ongoing recovery after winning the Australian Open.

Indian Wells begins next week and had she played there, it would have been Barty’s first appearance in California since 2019. On the other hand, the Miami Open, where the Australian ace is the two-time defending champion, begins on March 21.

“I wanted to share an update on my schedule for the coming months. 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. 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,” read a statement from Barty on WTA’s official website.

“I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus,” she added.

Barty’s withdrawal means that Indian Wells will be without both players who made the women’s final at the season’s first major as another Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, the top-ranked American in the women’s rankings at No. 11, has also withdrawn from the tournament due to a continuing injury.

However, Barty is hopeful to be back to represent Australia at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying event, which begins April 15. Australia is set to play a home tie against Slovakia.

“My aim is to represent my country at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup event in April. After missing the BJK Cup last year I can’t wait to wear the green and gold again,” she said.

The 25-year old also sent her wishes to the countrymen, who have been affected by the devastating floods and to tennis players of Ukraine.

“On a more important note, it has been a tough few weeks at home in Australia and around the world. I send all of my thoughts and best wishes to everyone in Queensland and New South Wales who have been affected by the devastating floods. To the people of Ukraine, especially my peers in the tennis family, we are all thinking of you and hope for peace,” she said.

Barty began her 2022 campaign by going undefeated in January, sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the Adelaide International and becoming the first Australian in more than 40 years to win the Australian Open, her third major title.

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