After 11 months of sabbatical, Barty and Kyrgios return to action since Covid49 is among the world’s top 50 fighting for more than $2.2 million.
The 11-month hiatus of Ashleigh Barty from professional tennis comes to an end as the world number one as part of the Melbourne Summer Series warms up for the Australian Open. Like Nick Kyrgios in the men’s draw, Barty will be among the stars at two WTA 500 and two ATP 250 tournaments to be played from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6 at Melbourne Park. Due to technical problem, Nick Kyrgios drops out of the Australian ATP Cup teamRead more After late February last year, when Barty reached the semifinals at the Qatar Open and Kyrgios was eliminated in the first round in Acapulco, the Australian pair have not played a tournament. Both missed the US Open and French Open last year, where Barty was supposed to defend her title, because of the Covid-19 attack. When she was split from her coach because of Australian border constraints, Barty, 24, cited health risks as well as inadequate planning. Kyrgios said he felt it irresponsible to travel and play and spent the year practicing at his Canberra base. After last year’s bushfire and ensuing pandemic, the four tournaments, with more than $2.2 million in prize money, were named to support key regions in Victoria. Barty, who reached the semifinals of last year’s Australian Open, would face intense competition as 49 of the world’s top 50 players They include 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, world No. 2 Simona Halep and defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. For each WTA event, the 64 players will be drawn, with the top 32 ranked players divided between the two tournaments and the randomly drawn remaining players. The fields were already divided into two ATP 250 tournaments in the men’s draw, with several of the top-ranking players playing in the ATP Cup, held concurrently at Melbourne Park. Kyrgios will play at the Murray River Open, joining former Open champions Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov. Kyrgios will play at the Murray River Open. “The fact that 49 of the top 50 women in the world and an outstanding men’s field have committed to the Melbourne Summer Series is a huge bonus for fans and promises quality matches for the players leading up to the Australian Open,” said Cameron Pearson, Tennis Australia’s head of major events. “There’s no doubt this will be a historic week of tennis and the biggest AO inaugural week we’ve ever seen in Australia.”