World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from Sydney as she wants to focus on her final preparation for the Australian Open. Barty, 25, had been expected to make her third Sydney appearance this year. Barty fell just short of winning it all in her Sydney debut four years ago as she ended runner-up in the final to Angelique Kerber.
Barty returned to Sydney in 2019 as well and once again fell just short of winning it all as she was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the final. Barty kicked off her 2022 season last week in Adelaide, where she made it all the way after beating Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 in the final.
Barty was thrilled with her week in Adelaide
"We've obviously had a brilliant week, been able to work progressively through each match," Barty said after winning Adelaide. "I got better and better. I felt like today there were really a few key moments early in the first set to gain momentum.
I was really happy to be able to get a couple of early breaks in the second and run away with it." Barty, a two-time Grand Slam champion, has never won the Australian Open but she is feeling good ahead of this year's opening Grand Slam of the season.
"I feel good leading up to an Australian Open like I have every year," Barty said. "Each and every preparation is unique, each and every preparation is different. So we take it for what comes and what it is, move on, try and do the best that we can in every opportunity, whether that's here in Adelaide or it's in Melbourne.
"It has absolutely no effect on the way that I prepare or the way I'm thinking leading forward just because it's a Grand Slam. Doesn't change for us. We look forward, we do what we can, then we see how we go."