Barty Will Forgo Defense Of French Open Championship

WASHINGTON, September 8, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

World No. 1 and reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia announced Tuesday morning she will forgo the defense of her only Grand Slam title later this month in Paris.

Barty, 24, made the announcement on her Instagram platform. She cited border restrictions in Australia, which have made it impossible for her to train with her coach, Craig Tyzzer, and concern for the spike in COVID-19 cases in France as reasons for not coming to Paris.

In addition, Barty will not compete during the upcoming WTA European clay swing that also includes tournaments in Rome and Strasbourg leading up to Roland Garros.

Barty explains her reasons for not playing in Europe

”It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly,” Barty wrote in a statement.

“There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia.

“I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament.

”I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again.”

View this post on Instagram

It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly. There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia. I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament. I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can’t wait to play for you again.

A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty) on

Barty finishes year with one title

Barty appeared in four tournaments this year. She lost in the first round in Brisbane, then won her only 2020 title at Adelaide. She followed by reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open, and also advanced to the semifinals at Doha. The Aussie, who been idle since the Qatar Total Open in late February, compiled a win-loss record of 11-3 this year.