Ashleigh Barty has entered three tournaments in the next few weeks but she still isn't sure if she's going to play them.
It's been more than a year since the No. 1 has left Australia—she skipped most of the 2020 season, returning at Melbourne Park with a title win at a warm-up WTA event before falling to Karolina Muchova in three sets at the Aussie Open. This week, she is playing the Adelaide International.
“We plan as best that we can but obviously nothing is certain, it’s difficult," she told press during this week in Adelaide. "So for the time being, we focus on this week and we move onto the schedule a little bit later on.”
Barty was scheduled to continue with hard-court events in Doha, Dubai and Miami. On Wednesday, following her second-round defeat to Danielle Collins in Adelaide, she pulled out of the 500-level event in Doha with a left leg injury. Barty hinted that Miami, where she triumphed in 2019, would be her next tournament.
The 24-year-old is still ranked No. 1 even with her limited schedule because the WTA is currently allowing players to count events from two years towards their ranking. While Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open and also captured the US Open last September, she is still No. 2 behind Barty.
But Barty's points will now begin to fall off, including her 2019 French Open title, though she insists that's not a concern for her.
“There’s no extra pressure. I can’t control what anyone else does," she said. "As for defending points, I think it’s a very negative way of looking at it."
Instead, her motivation is playing events and training for them once more.
“Kind of start again, which is a massive reason why I wanted to play here in Adelaide, continuing that momentum that we have built here in Australia,” Barty said.