The world number one, Ashleigh Barty has ended her stellar 2021 session on Saturday as she turns her attention to Australian Open 2022 preparations.

The two-time singles major champion has decided not to contest the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico. Notably, the defending WTA Finals champion returned home to Australia shortly after contesting her 13th event for 2021 at the US Open in September.

“I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” said Barty, as per Tennis Australia. “It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritise my body and my recovery from our 2021 season and focus on having the strongest preseason for the Australian summer.”

Barty’s tour-leading fives singles titles included her second Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon, where she was the first Australian woman to triumph since her friend and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley claimed the 1981 ladies’ title.

There were also trophies lifted at the Melbourne Summer Series, Miami, Stuttgart and Cincinnati.

“With the ongoing challenges of travelling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not willing to compromise my preparation for January,” Barty added. “I wish the WTA team and the players all the best for a successful WTA Finals and rest of the year.”

“My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open. I can’t wait to play at home again,” the 25-year-old said.

Soon to spend her 100th week at world No.1, Barty is eyeing an improvement on already impressive results at her home Grand Slam. In 2020, she was the first Australian woman to reach the semifinals since Wendy Turnbull in 1984.
After a long hiatus throughout 2020, Barty made a spectacular return to form as an Australian Open quarterfinalist this year. (ANI)