'It's ridiculous': Coach's bombshell announcement about Ash Barty

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·Sports Reporter
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Ash Barty is likely not to contest the season-ending WTA Finals in November, over fears it will disrupt her preparation for the 2022 Australian Open. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
Ash Barty is likely not to contest the season-ending WTA Finals in November, over fears it will disrupt her preparation for the 2022 Australian Open. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

World No.1 Ash Barty appears extremely unlikely to contest the 2021 WTA Finals, with coach Craig Tyzzer declaring the timing and location of the event 'ridiculous'.

Barty hasn't spent extended time at home in Australia after hitting the road following the Australian Open earlier in 2021.

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She famously banked the richest cheque in men's or women's tennis history - $US4.42 million - for winning the WTA Finals two years ago in Shenzhen, in the same month that the first coronavirus case was discovered in Wuhan.

It now seems most unlikely the world No.1 will be back to defend her crown, after last year's finals were cancelled.

Tyzzer said the combination of a short turnaround before the Australian Open, combined with the more physically taxing conditions in the higher elevation environment of Guadalajara, Mexico, meant that it would likely be too much of an ask for Barty.

"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.

"I mean, it's not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they've never done before.

"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."

Barty is currently enjoying a well-earned holiday in the UK, where the keen golfer and four marker walked the fairways at the weekend watching fellow Queenslander Adam Scott at the European PGA Championship.

The 25-year-old was knocked out in the third round of the recent US Open by American rival Shelby Rogers.

Ash Barty keen for time in Australia after relentless travel schedule

The Wimbledon champion is committed to returning to Australia after next month's Indian Wells 1000 series event in California, so enduring two fortnight blocks of quarantine almost certainly rules her out of the WTA Finals.

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

"Indian Wells is still on the radar but 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.

"It's a decision we'll have to sit and mull over quite a bit."

Ash Barty is hoping to spend prolonged time home in Australia before next year's Australian Open, her coach says. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Ash Barty is hoping to spend prolonged time home in Australia before next year's Australian Open, her coach says. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tyzzer said staging the WTA Finals at such an unfamiliar venue was puzzling and had diminished the lustre of the multi-million dollar season finale.

"We were originally told it was Hong Kong and then we were told it was Prague and all of a sudden we hear it's in Mexico," he said.

"It's almost like it's a last-gasp. It doesn't strike me as they're really trying to promote the best girls in the world for the top eight as a showcase, to put it where it's at."

Regardless of whether Barty plays the WTA Finals, the 25-year-old has such a massive rankings lead that her year-end position as world No.1 is all but secure.

With AAP

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