Ashleigh Barty unlikely to compete at 2021 WTA Finals, says coach

With the 2021 WTA Finals rescheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico, it seems World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will be skipping the event as it could jeopardize her preparations for the 2022 Australian Open, according to her coach Craig Tyzzer.

The event was last hosted in Shenzhen, China in 2019, with Barty winning the title. Due to the pandemic, there was no tournament in 2020 but it seems unlikely that the Australian will be back to defend her crown this year.

Tyzzer stated that Barty would be compromising her preparations for the Australian Open if she were to compete at the event, which ends on November 15, 2021. On returning to Australia, she would have to spend two weeks in quarantine in accordance with state health regulations. Furthermore, the idea of competing at high altitude in Guadalajara was not conducive to her training.

"We only just found out it's in Mexico at 1500 meters (above sea level) and they're using pressure-less balls," Tyzzer told AAP. "Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It's a ball that if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn't bounce.

"I mean, 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."

Barty is currently enjoying a well-earned vacation in the UK, before next month's Indian Wells event, after which she intends on returning to Australia. Therefore, she will unlikely be able to participate in Guadalajara as she will have to endure two weeks of quarantine upon re-entry to her homeland.

"She needs to get home, she's a super homebody," added Tyzzer. "Indian Wells is still on the radar but she just needs a rest. She was physically and mentally exhausted. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday and just refresh everything. We'll probably make a decision at the end of the week about what she's going to do depending on where she's at.

"But 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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