World No.1 Ash Barty pulls out of Miami Open and Indian Wells after slow Australian Open recovery

The 25-year-old managed to win the Australian Open for the first time back in January, but the world No.1 says her recovery has not gone to plan.

The Australian star enjoyed a superb start to the season, winning every match in straight sets in the Australian Open to win her home Grand Slam.

Having won Wimbledon in 2021 and the French Open in 2019, the now three-time Grand Slam champion was favourite to claim a third-straight Miami Open this month.

However, Barty released a statement early on Thursday morning which stated she'd be withdrawing from both the Miami Open and the Indian Wells, suggesting she needed more time to recover following her triumph in Melbourne.

"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," she said.

"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."

With the next Grand Slam scheduled to start on May 22 in France, Barty has plenty of time to recover, but she's pinpointed Australia's Billie Jean King Cup home tie against Slovakia on April 15 as a potential return date.

It'd give the world No.1 a month of play to warm up ahead of the second Grand Slam of the year, and Barty said she's also looking forward to representing her country in the April tournament.

"My aim is to represent my country at the upcoming Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup event in April," she said.

"After missing the BJK Cup last year I can't wait to wear the green and gold again."

Winning home grand slam ‘surreal’ and ‘special’ for Australian Ashleigh Barty

Barty's withdrawal from the Miami Open means the tournament will see a new victor for the first time since 2020.

It's set to start on March 21 and will run through until the final on April 3.

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