Ashleigh Barty returns to action after 11 months for Australian Open warmup

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World primary Ash Barty will return to aggressive tennis after a prolonged hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic when she headlines two WTA tournaments in Melbourne forward of the Australian Open, organisers mentioned on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Queenslander has not performed a match since February, opting not to defend her French Open title and in addition skipping the U.S. Open in New York because the novel coronavirus wreaked havoc on world sport.

The pandemic continues to be affecting the tennis calendar, with the 12 months’s first Grand Slam at Melbourne Park to begin on Feb. 8, three weeks later than deliberate.

Barty, who held on to the highest ladies’s singles rating throughout final 12 months’s disrupted season, will play for the primary time in 11 months at one among two WTA 500 occasions from Jan. 31-Feb. 6 as a part of the Melbourne Summer Series.

The Gippsland Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic, named after areas within the state of Victoria, will embody 49 of the highest 50 ladies gamers.

The high 32 gamers can be cut up throughout the 2 occasions, with every that includes 64-singles and 32-doubles attracts.

American Serena Williams, 39, may even return to aggressive action after exiting the French Open with an harm and would hope to get some matches below her belt earlier than embarking on her bid for a record-equalling 24th main title.

Players will begin arriving Down Under from Jan. 15 and bear a compulsory 14-day quarantine earlier than taking part in the warm-up occasions, which can be held at Melbourne Park.

Top males’s gamers like Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and world quantity two Rafa Nadal will characterize their nations within the 12-team ATP Cup from Feb. 1-5 with these unable to make the reduce divided into two ATP 250 tournaments.

The Great Ocean Road Open and Murray River Open will characteristic gamers together with Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka and native hope Nick Kyrgios.

“While we know the circumstances are unique this year, it is a huge coup to secure such strong playing fields,” Cameron Pearson, head of TA main occasions, mentioned in a press release.

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