Barty out of Sydney, focusing on the Open 

Barty out of Sydney, focusing on the Open 

Ash Barty has declared her triumphant title double at the Adelaide International the perfect Australian Open preparation.

Australia’s all-conquering world No.1 on Monday withdrew from the Sydney Tennis Classic to head straight to Melbourne to fine-tune for the Open.

Barty completed a flawless start to her 2022 season with a rare title double in Adelaide on Sunday, adding the doubles trophy with Storm Sanders to a second singles crown in the South Australian capital in three years.

Australia’s big Open hope says seven matches lasting nine hours and three minutes in total – having not played since the 2021 US Open in September – was ample court time heading into the year’s first major starting next Monday.

‘It’s been an extraordinary week. We’ve been able to play lots of matches in singles and doubles. We’ve had plenty of court time, which is great,’ Barty said.

‘Unfortunately, I am withdrawing from the Sydney Tennis Classic to have some time to recover before the Australian Open.

‘I’m sorry I won’t get the chance to play in front of the Sydney fans this year. I hope to see you all again soon. I wish the players and the tournament team all the best for the week ahead.’

Barty was super impressive in collecting her 14th career title in Adelaide, improving her record over top-20 rivals to 17-1 since the start of last year with successive wins over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina.

But as well as a fighting three-set win over Coco Gauff in her tournament opener, Barty wants a rest.

‘At the end of the tournament, having played a few singles matches, I certainly don’t feel fresh now,’ the Wimbledon champion said after her final defeat of Rybakina.

‘(But) the (pre-season) work that I do with my team behind the scenes puts me in the best possible position to play good tennis time and time again each and every time we’re asked.’

The world No.1’s domination of her rivals in Adelaide had former Wimbledon semi-finalist turned commentator Jelena Dokic declaring she’d never seen Barty bettered prepared for an Australian Open.

‘It’s all relative, isn’t it? It depends on how many matches. It depends on match-ups,’ Barty said.

‘There are so many different variables coming into what you guys are seeing, and sometimes what you see is completely different to how I feel.

‘I feel good leading up to an Australian Open like I have every year. Each and every preparation is unique, each and every preparation is different.

‘So we take it for what comes and what it is, move on, try and do the best that we can in every opportunity, whether that’s here in Adelaide or it’s in Melbourne.’