Ashleigh Barty opts out of Billie Jean King Cup Finals
Ashleigh Barty will not be part of the Australia team fighting to go one step further than their runner-up position at the last competition.
Previously the Fed Cup, the newly named Billie Jean King Cup Finals are being held for the first time since 2019 in early November.
Though Australia are the third most successful nation at the event, they have not been champions since 1974. They have come agonisingly close as runners-up on nine occasions since, including in 2019.
There, Barty lost the deciding doubles rubber in the final alongside partner Sam Stosur as France sealed a third crown at their expense.
This year, Australian hope of another fight for the title has been dealt a big blow with the announcement that the world number one will not compete in November.
Barty has not played since the US Open and has withdrawn ahead of Indian Wells. The Wimbledon champion is also a doubt to defend her WTA Finals crown from 2019.
Barty is currently resting after seven months on the road. Travelling to Mexico for the elite season-ending event would necessitate a second two-week quarantine in Australia.
Such a restriction could seriously stutter her preparation for the start of the 2022 season, particularly prior to the Australian Open.
As a result of Barty’s withdrawal from the Billie Jean King Cup, world number 47 Ajla Tomljanovic has been left to head up the Australian contingent in Prague, Czech Republic.
2021 has seen Barty claim five titles, including two WTA 1000 trophies and a maiden Wimbledon title.
That Wimbledon triumph was her second Slam title overall, the first being her Roland Garros title in 2019.
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