Ash Barty, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, withdrew from Indian Wells and the Miami Open on Thursday, citing the need for a continued recovery after winning the Australian Open. Indian Wells starts next week, and had she played, it would have been Barty’s first appearance since 2019. The Miami Open, where Barty is the two-time defending champion, begins March 21.
“Unfortunately my body didn’t recover as I had hoped after the Australian Open and I wasn’t able to prepare adequately for Indian Wells and Miami,” Barty said. “I don’t think I’m at the level needed to win these events and so I’ve decided to withdraw from both tournaments.
“I love these events and I’m sad not to be there competing, but I have to focus on my body.” Her withdrawal means Indian Wells will be without the two players who made the women’s final in the first major tournament of the season. Danielle Collins, the highest-ranked American in the women’s ranking at No. 11, cited lingering injuries in her decision not to play there.
Miami Open tournament director James Blake said he hopes Barty can make a quick comeback. “I know this was an extremely difficult decision for Ashleigh and I understand the importance of players prioritizing their health,” Blake said.
Barty ended a 44-year drought for Australian women at the Australian Open when she won the singles title at Melbourne Park in late January. It was his third Grand Slam singles title and his first on hard court after winning on grass at Wimbledon and on clay at Roland-Garros.