Barty withdraws from Indian Wells with remainder of season in doubt

Barty withdraws from Indian Wells with remainder of season in doubt

World number one Ashleigh Barty may be in the process of ending her season prematurely after it was announced that she had withdrawn from Indian Wells.

The Wimbledon champion last played at the US Open, where she was knocked out in the third round, and has been away from home since March, along with her team, following the Australian Open.

It is perhaps not surprising that Barty may be drawing her season to a close after the outspoken comments from her coach, Craig Tyzzer, on his player having to undergo two weeks of home quarantine on her return to Australia from the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

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Tyzzer slammed the “ridiculous” playing conditions for the WTA Finals after it was moved to Mexico. It was supposed to be played in Shenzhen, China, but had to be switched to Guadalajara due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barty won the WTA Finals the last time they were held in 2019, but her coach said he was uncertain if she would defend her title.

“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 metres (above sea level) and they’re using pressure-less balls,” Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press.

“Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It’s a ball that, if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn’t bounce. It’s not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they’ve never done before.

In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous. As a spectacle, it’s just frightening.

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Tyzzer said Barty is “physically and mentally exhausted” and wouldn’t want to jeopardise her preparations for the 2022 Australian Open by playing in the WTA Finals, which start on November 8.

“She just needs a rest. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday,” he said.

“It certainly isn’t easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two (more) weeks (in quarantine) and then your summer is sort of ruined as well. It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”

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