Ashleigh Barty on 2021 Season: ‘We’re Ready To Go’

Ashleigh Barty (photo: Scott Barbour/Tennis Australia)

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

As the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne comes into focus – it starts in less than two weeks – much attention will be on World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, who will play her first tournament in 11 months after remaining home in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic. While others returned to competition, Barty opted out of playing any tournaments after the WTA relaunched last August following a five-month absence.

“I missed the routine and craved the training that had become so normal to me for so many years now,” Barty, 24, told WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen in a recent interview posted to the WTA website.

Last year, Barty was ranked No. 1 during the pandemic-interrupted season and will look to pick up where she left off. After a 2019 season in which she won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, as well as crowns in Miami and Birmingham, and the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, Barty began 2020 by winning a title in Adelaide and reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and Doha. Now, the Queenslander is back.

“It’s been a unique year for everyone without a doubt, a unique preparation for everyone,” said Barty. “It’s been a little bit of a tricky one with everyone having to navigate through different things. But it’s been great and I feel like we’re ready to go and now we’re exciting to get out there and have some fun.”

Barty will play in the Day at the Drive exhibition in Adelaide in support of the Australian Tennis Federation on Friday. Then, next week, she’s entered in one of the Melbourne WTA 500-series events. Finally, on Feb. 8, the World No. 1 will compete in the 2021 Australian Open.

Read more of Barty’s WTA Insider interview.

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What they’re saying

“If you cannot adapt, you are in a bad position.”

Donna Vekic, quoted by The New York Times, in speaking about the pre-Australian Open hotel quarantine conditions in Melbourne, in which most players are confined to their hotels for all but five hours a day during their 14-day quarantine period.

What they’re writing

Does joy lead to success, or does success lead to joy? Are you happy because you win, or do you win because you are happy? These are questions that are explored by writer Liana Satenstein in a Vogue interview with Serena Williams. Find out how Williams is finding happiness in 2021.

What they’re sharing on social media

Elina Svitolina / OK, let’s find that inner peace


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A post shared by Elina Svitolina (@elisvitolina)

Uniqlo Ambassadors / Roger Federer at ease

The Tennis Podcast / Billie Jean loves tennis