Ashley Barty is back in service after 11 months of absence due to coronavirus
Ashley Barty holds the highest ratings in the women’s singles category. Although last year’s unsuccessful season left its mark on his career. And now, 11 months later, on January 31, she will play at one of two WTA 500 tournaments.
World No. 1 Ashley Barty is returning to competitive tennis after a long absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tennis player will lead two WTA tournaments in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, organizers said on Thursday.
The 24-year-old hasn’t played in any match since February. Thus, she decided not to defend her title at the French Open, and also decided to skip the US Open in New York, as the coronavirus pandemic caused serious damage not only to the world, but also to professional sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still having a huge impact on the tennis calendar. Thus, the first Grand Slam tournament this year in Melbourne Park is expected on February 8, that is, three weeks later than previously planned.
Ashley Barty, who held the top spot in the world women’s singles last game year, returns to the courts for the first time in 11 months at one of two WTA 500 events that will take place from January 31 to February 6 as part of the Melbourne Summer Series.
The Gippsland Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic, named after the regions of Victoria, Australia, will feature 49 of the top 50 women tennis players as agreed.
Moreover, the top 32 players of the tournament will be further split into two separate tournaments. In each of which 64 singles and 32 pairs are expected to be played.
Also, one of the best athletes in the world, 39-year-old American Serena Williams returns to the competition after leaving the French Open due to serious injury. The tennis player also hopes to play a few matches before embarking on her serious bid for a record 24th major title.
Tennis players are expected to begin arriving at Down Under starting January 15 and undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine prior to training before the tournament, which will take place in Melbourne Park.
While top male players such as second world player Rafa Nadal and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will represent their countries in the 12-team ATP Cup championship from February 1-5. And those who could not break through and play their matches successfully will be divided into two ATP 250 tournaments.
The Great Ocean Road Open and Murray River Open will feature players such as local hope Nick Kyrgios and Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka.
“While we know the circumstances are unique this year, it is a huge coup to provide such a strong playing field,”Cameron Pearson, head of Major Events at TA, said in a statement.