South Africa

Quarantines may force Barty away from home, Tennis News & Top Stories

MIAMI • World No. 1 Ashleigh 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 Covid-19.

The 24-year-old, 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,” she said. “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 the defending Miami Open champion as last year’s event was cancelled.

“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 the top seed here will be a clash today with Victoria Azarenka.

World No. 3 Simona Halep withdrew from the event on Saturday because of a right shoulder injury.

The 29-year-old Romanian is not set to play again until next month’s Billie Jean King Cup, formerly the Fed Cup.

In the men’s draw, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past lucky loser Damir Dzumhur.

Tsitsipas is ranked fifth in the world but seeded second behind world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the Masters 1000 event missing top-ranked Novak Djokovic, world No. 3 Rafael Nadal and No. 4 Dominic Thiem as well as Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

The 22-year-old Greek was untroubled in a 6-1, 6-4 win.

Fourth seed Andrey Rublev also advanced after a 6-1, 6-2 victory over American Tennys Sandgren.



Day 6: StarHub Ch201, 11pm

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