'Needs a rest': Ash Barty's shock announcement amid gruelling year

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Ash Barty, pictured here speaking to the media at the Australian Open.
Ash Barty speaks to the media at the Australian Open. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Ash Barty has announced her stunning withdrawal from next week's Indian Wells Masters, casting further doubt over the remainder of her season.

The World No.1, who hasn't played since her shock loss in the third round at the US Open, was due to compete for the third time at the rescheduled event, which begins next Monday.

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However organisers have confirmed that the Aussie star is pulling out, making it increasingly likely that Barty's successful and gruelling season, which culminated in her Wimbledon triumph, is over. 

Fellow big names Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams have also withdrawn from Indian Wells, which is one of the biggest events on the WTA and ATP calenders.

Earlier this month, Barty's coach Craig Tyzzer told AAP that the 25-year-old might not defend her WTA Finals crown in November because the tournament that marks the climax to the season had been moved to Mexico.

Tyzzer warned that she might skip the event because of challenging conditions in Guadalajara.

"We only just found out it's in Mexico at 1500 metres (above sea level) and they're using pressure-less balls," Tyzzer told AAP.

"Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It's a ball that if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn't bounce.

"In conditions they've never played, in a country they don't play and at altitude, I just feel it's ridiculous.

"As a spectacle, it's just frightening."

He added that Barty's participation was "a decision we'll have to sit and mull over quite a bit."

Ash Barty, pictured here after crashing out of the US Open.
Ash Barty farewells the crowd after crashing out of the US Open. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Barty has endured a demanding year on the road which has seen her lift five titles and keep a lock on her No.1 ranking.

Her priority is that she's properly prepared for a crack at the Australian Open in January after two weeks of quarantine on her return.

"She needs to get home, she's a super homebody," Tyzzer said earlier this month.

"She just needs a rest. She was physically and mentally exhausted. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday and just refresh everything.

"We'll probably make a decision at the end of the week about what she's going to do depending on where she's at.

"But it certainly isn't easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two (more) weeks (in quarantine) and then your summer is sort of ruined as well."

The 25-year-old opened up earlier this year about being away from her family for so long, after leaving them behind in Australia when she embarked on a worldwide tour in March.

The Queenslander admitted there were many tears of sadness when she farewelled her family and boyfriend, jetting off for a gruelling overseas journey that took in the French Open, Wimbledon, US Open and Tokyo Olympics.

"It was all 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," Barty told AAP, still not knowing exactly when she'll be back to see the family she's so close to.

"Of course, there were tears in the days leading up. And when I did finally leave."

with AAP

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