World no.1 Ashleigh Barty on Saturday announced that she won't defend her season-ending WTA Finals title and is done for the year due to continuing Covid-19 travel and quarantine restrictions. (More Tennis News)
“I wanted to let everyone know that I won't be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” Barty said in a statement.
The 25-year-old stressed that with the ongoing travelling restrictions in Australia and the mandatory quarantine, she will focus only on the Australian Open which annually takes place in January.
Barty hasn't played since the US Open in September and says her focus now is on preparing for another attempt at winning the Grand Slam in her home country.
She had to undergo two weeks of quarantine when she returned to her Brisbane home in September after the U.S. Open and doesn't want to do the same again if she travels to the relocated WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico from November 10-17.
“It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritize my body and my recovery from our 2021 season. With ongoing challenges of travelling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not willing to compromise my preparation for January," she added.
Barty won five titles this season, including a second major at Wimbledon in July, and is assured of ending as year-end number one. She won the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China in 2019 before last year's edition was not played because of the pandemic.