Ash Barty joins Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams on Indian Wells absentee list

Barty had been on the road since March through to the end of the US Open and it remains to be seen if she will compete at the WTA Finals in November

Ash Barty at the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

World No 1 Ash Barty has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, a WTA 1000 event, which has been postponed to October this year from its usual slot in March on the tennis calendar due to the global pandemic.

Ash Barty is the latest big name to pull out of the women’s event, joining four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka and 23-time Major champion Serena Williams on the list of those absent from Indian Wells.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem, who have all said they would not compete on the tour again in 2021, are also on the Indian Wells withdrawal list.

Barty had been away from her native Australia from March through to the US Open. Having pulled out of Indian Wells, it remains to be seen if she will travel to Mexico for the WTA Finals in November, where the top eight players of the season compete for the year-end title or if she chooses to remain at home to prepare for the Australian Open in January 2022.

In an interview earlier this month, her coach Craig Tyzzer had said Barty needed a break and some time at home after her long stretch on the road. He also indicated that her participation in the season-ending WTA Finals remains uncertain.

“She needs to get home, she’s a super homebody,” Tyzzer told AAP. “Indian Wells is still on the radar but she just needs a rest. She was physically and mentally exhausted. “So I told her to just get away and have a holiday and just refresh everything. We’ll probably make a decision at the end of the week about what she’s going to do depending on where she’s at. But it certainly isn’t easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two (more) weeks (in quarantine) and then your summer is sort of ruined as well. It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”

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