World No.1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the upcoming WTA 1000 hard court events at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, and the Miami Open, where she is the two-time defending champion.
In a statement citing health setbacks, the three-time major champion said she hopes to be back to represent Australia at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying event, which begins April 15. Australia is set to play a home tie against Slovakia
"I wanted to share an update on my schedule for the coming months," Barty said in a statement. "Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I’d hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments. I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus.
"My aim is to represent my country at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup event in April. After missing the BJK Cup last year I can’t wait to wear the green and gold again.
"On a more important note, it has been a tough few weeks at home in Australia and around the world. I send all of my thoughts and best wishes to everyone in Queensland and New South Wales who have been affected by the devastating floods. To the people of Ukraine, especially my peers in the tennis family, we are all thinking of you and hope for peace.”
Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins has also withdrawn from Indian Wells due to a continuing injury.
Barty began her 2022 campaign by going undefeated in January, sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the Adelaide International and becoming the first Australian in more than 40 years to win the Australian Open, her third major title.