Ashleigh Barty uncertain of schedule as Naomi Osaka closes in on her top spot

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Australian Ash Barty has offered no certainty if she’s going to play commonly on the ladies’s tour amid the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of Naomi Osaka closing in on her world primary rating with a fourth Grand Slam title in Melbourne.

Barty accepted a wildcard to defend her Adelaide International title this week after making an exit on the quarter-final stage of her house Grand Slam with a defeat to Czech Karolina Muchova.

The Queenslander skipped final 12 months’s U.S. Open and didn’t defend her 2019 French Open title, opting to not journey on account of well being issues amid the pandemic.

Barty, who is anticipated to move to the Middle East subsequent month to play WTA occasions in Doha and Dubai, mentioned she confronted no health points throughout the Melbourne Park swing regardless of returning to the circuit after 11 months.

“We plan as best as we can,” the 24-year-old advised reporters in Adelaide on Monday. “Obviously in the present state of affairs nothing’s sure. It’s tough to plan, definitely, however we simply go along with the recommendation that we now have been given.

“Of course I would love to be back on tour full-time, and all those decisions will come as close as we can to the events, but also as far out to try and plan a schedule and plan a tour.”

Barty didn’t play for 11 months however has nonetheless held on to her top spot as the ladies’s governing physique adjusted the WTA rankings as a result of pandemic, permitting gamers the flexibility to skip tournaments with out the concern of dropping factors.

In distinction, second-ranked Osaka received final 12 months’s U.S. Open and the Australian Open on Saturday however nonetheless finds herself greater than 1,300 factors behind the Australian.

“There’s no extra pressure. The extra pressure is non-existent for me,” Barty mentioned about Osaka’s ascent.

“I can’t control what anyone else does. For the tournaments or with the rankings, that’s out of my control. As for defending points, I think that’s a very negative way to look at it.”

The rivalry between Barty and 23-year-old Osaka might be the spotlight characteristic of the tour for the subsequent few years.

“I’ve only played her a couple times. We haven’t played a lot,” Barty mentioned, including she had not watched Saturday’s last between Osaka and American Jennifer Brady.

“So hopefully it’s a chance for me to play in opposition to her in some huge moments in huge tournaments. That’s what we dream of … making an attempt to place your self in place to win huge titles.

“So maybe it will happen one day but for the time being that’s not what I’m stressed about.”

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