Barty ready to spend rest of 2021 season away from home

TORONTO — World number one Ash Barty said on Saturday she will probably not return home to Australia until after the conclusion of the 2021 season because of quarantine requirements in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Barty, speaking after she cruised into the last 16 at the Miami Open with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jelena Ostapenko, said the time needed to quarantine on either end of a journey to Australia would be too much of a challenge.

“Obviously, with the quarantine laws in Australia, we do our two weeks’ quarantine in a hotel, and there is actually not a lot of space in the season to be able to do that just to get home for the two weeks,” said Barty.

“So at this stage, we’re planning to be away until after the US Open and potentially right to the end of season.”

While Barty is no stranger to long periods away from home, she admitted settling into a stretch that could last until November if the entire season goes ahead, is taking some getting used to.

“Without a doubt, it was something that was new to me, new to try and wrap my head around and comprehend where we’re going to be away for such an extended period,” said Barty, who is the defending Miami Open champion as last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

“Of course, there were tears the days leading up. There were tears when I did finally leave, and then when we left. Then we were delayed and had to leave again. It was all kind of happening.”

Up next for top seed Barty in Miami will be a clash with either Angelique Kerber or Victoria Azarenka. — Reuters