Ash Barty pulls out of Indian Wells, WTA Finals campaign under cloud

Ash Barty has withdrawn from next week’s Indian Wells Masters event, casting further doubt over whether Australia’s world No 1 will play any more tennis this season.

Barty, who has not competed since her shock US Open third-round defeat by Shelby Rogers at the start of this month, was due to compete for the third time at the rescheduled event, one of the biggest on the WTA Tour, which begins next Monday.

But Monday’s confirmation from the Californian tournament that the Queenslander is pulling out – news that follows the withdrawal of Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams – makes it increasingly probable that Barty’s successful season, which culminated in her Wimbledon triumph, is over.

本月初, Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer said the 25-year-old might not defend her WTA Finals crown in November because the tournament that marks the climax to the season had been moved to Mexico.

Tyzzer warned that she might skip the event because of challenging conditions in Guadalajara.

“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500m [above sea level] and they’re using pressureless balls,” Tyzzer told AAP.

“Pressureless balls absolutely fly. It’s a ball that if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn’t bounce. In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous.”

He added that Barty’s participation was “a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”

The priority for Barty, after a demanding year on the road which has seen her lift five titles and keep a lock on her No 1 ranking, is that she is properly prepared for a crack at the Australian Open in January after two weeks of quarantine on her return.