Barty: calf “marginally better than expected” ahead of China Open
Ash Barty is yet to test her troublesome calf since Wuhan but is confident she will be ready to go for her opening match at the China Open, where she is the top seed.
Ash Barty is hoping her calf injury will be healed in time for the start of her China Open campaign.
The Australian is the No.1 seed in Beijing and will take on Yulia Putintseva, who thumped qualifier Anna Blinkova for the loss of just one game on Sunday.
Barty’s calf troubled her during her semifinal loss to Aryna Sabalenka in Wuhan, and she is yet to hit since that match on Friday.
“We’ll look to get on court this afternoon and kind of test it out,” she told media during her pre-tournament press conference on Sunday at Beijing’s National Tennis Centre.
“From how it’s been going, it’s been marginally better than we expected, which is good.
“I mean, I’m sure that we’ll have no issue. It’s just about now ticking the boxes and making sure we do all the right things and give it a chance to be ready to go.”
Barty and Putintseva have split two career meetings, with Barty winning their most recent encounter in three sets in the last 16 of the WTA clay-court tournament in Madrid.
While her record at the Wuhan tournament is excellent — she has reached the semifinals the last three years running, advancing to the final in 2017 — she has yet to translate that form to the hard courts of Beijing.
Injury ruled her out of the 2018 edition of the tournament and she lost her opening match to Elina Svitolina in 2017, her only other China Open appearance.
“It just wasn’t fair that I would walk out on the court and not be able to play 100 per cent. I think it was a better decision for myself and my team to give my body time to rest and recover,” Barty said of 2018.
“Was singles and doubles, I think (in 2017). Neither went overly to plan (smiling).
“It’s a fresh tournament. Obviously I’m familiar enough with the site and all those things. But conditions-wise, I’m unsure of how it can go.
“It’s about me over these next few days trying to adjust as best that I can, then coming out for my first match just ready and to give it a crack. There’s not much more that I can do.
“I can sit here and think about all the what ifs, but it’s just about going out there and trying to adjust, trying to play as well as I can.”