Queensland, Australia, 23 October 2021 | Tennis Australia

Ash Barty is turning her attention to Australian Open 2022 preparation after opting not to contest the WTA finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The world No.1, who returned home to Australia shortly after contesting her 13th event for 2021 at the US Open, has announced her withdrawal from all remaining 2021 tournaments.

“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.

“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 Goologong Cawley claimed the 1980 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.”

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.

“My focus is now on the Australian summer and doing everything I can to win the Australian Open,” she said.

“I can’t wait to play at home again.”