World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty set to play in Adelaide exhibition before making competitive return

Following Adelaide, Ashleigh Barty plans to play in the WTA 500 tournament at Melbourne Park.

The Associated Press January 21, 2021 09:48:54 IST
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty set to play in Adelaide exhibition before making competitive return

File image of Ashleigh Barty. AP

Ashleigh Barty is set to return to the tennis court for something other than practice for the first time in 11 months.

The world No. 1-ranked Barty on Thursday said she'll play in a one-day exhibition event in Adelaide on 29 January which includes Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep.

Called “A Day at the Drive," the exhibition at Memorial Drive also features four of the top men’s players, with the field playing afternoon and evening sessions. The men’s lineup includes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

Barty, who won the 2019 French Open title and reached the Australian Open semifinals last year, hasn’t played a competitive match since she was a semifinalist at the Qatar Open in February. Barty didn't play last year’s US Open and the French Open because of the threat of COVID-19 and overseas travel restrictions for Australian citizens.

Following Adelaide, Barty plans to play in the WTA 500 tournament at Melbourne Park in the week leading up to the Australian Open beginning 8 February.

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