World number one Ash Barty has made no decision on the rest of her season despite pulling out of next month’s WTA 1000 tournament at Indian Wells to return to Australia to see her family, her team told Reuters yesterday.
The Wimbledon champion last played at the US Open where she was knocked out in the third round and following her withdrawal from Indian Wells speculation was rife that the 25-year-old has ended her 2021 campaign.
Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer said this month that she might not defend her WTA Finals crown in November after the season-ending tournament was moved to Guadalajara, Mexico.
“Ash has withdrawn from Indian Wells to come home and see her family in Australia,” Barty’s manager Nikki Mathias said in a statement.
“She has been away from home since March and with the two week hotel quarantine requirement to come into Australia it has not been possible for her to return home before now.
“No further decisions have been made on events after Indian Wells yet.”
She has qualified for the Nov. 10-17 WTA Finals and Australia would want Barty to lead their challenge in the inaugural Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which will be held from November 1-6 in Prague.
Barty returned to competitive tennis at the start of 2021 having not played a match for 11 months, opting not to travel outside Australia amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since leaving her country in March, however, Barty has been on the road and has had a very successful campaign with five WTA titles in 2021, including her second Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios to undergo treatment to fix knee issue
Nick Kyrgios said yesterday he will undergo treatment to fix a painful knee that has been bothering him for two months and hopes to be fully fit for his home major at the Australian Open in January. The mercurial Australian, 26, headed home after playing the Laver Cup in Boston, his last event in the 2021 season. “Hey guys, over the last couple months, I haven’t been near 100% healthy,” Kyrgios wrote on an Instagram story. “I’ve been dealing with left knee patella tendinopathy, and continuing to play without fully treating it can lead to further pain and greater set backs.”
Kyrgios, who reached a career-high ranking of 13 in 2016, has slipped down the ladder and is now ranked 96th in the world after playing very few tournaments in the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He remains a fan-favourite with his shot-making wizardry and is among the few players in the world to beat the Big Three of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Kyrgios had pulled out of a highly-anticipated first-round match against Britain’s Andy Murray at the Winston-Salem Open due to knee pain in the leadup to the US Open but was fit to play the major and the Laver Cup subsequently.
“I’ve chosen to fly back to Australia to reassess and am planning to get PRP treatment to settle down and rehab my knee,” he added. “I’m disappointed it has kept me from playing my best tennis and hopefully with everything going smoothly I will be back to 100% by the Australian Open.”
Greek Sakkari boosts chances of making WTA Finals cut
Greek Maria Sakkari has climbed to fifth spot in the race to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Mexico on the back of her consistent results, the women’s tour has said.
The 26-year-old made five semi-finals during the 2021 season, including the French and the US Open majors, before finishing runner-up at the WTA 500 event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, last week. After starting the year ranked 22nd, the Athens-born Sakkari also reached her career-best ranking of 10th when the women’s rankings were updated on Monday. “People don’t realise how big it is for someone who at the age of 26 – not the age of 20 – cracks into the Top 10,” Sakkari said in Ostrava.
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