World No.1 Ash Barty uses Adelaide wild card to defend title

Barty who crashed out of the Australian Open after suffering a quarter-final loss, will be the top seed at the WTA 500 event in Adelaide next week.

Barty speaks to the Press after her Australian Open exit to Karolina Muchova   -  Getty Images

World number one Ash Barty, who exited the Australian Open with a quarter-final defeat to the 25th-seeded Karolina Muchova, has taken a wild card to defend her title at the WTA 500 event in Adelaide next week, organisers said on Friday.

The 24-year-old Australian will be the top seed at the $535,530 event, scheduled to be held from February 22-27, at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in South Australia.

"I am looking forward to coming back to Adelaide and having the opportunity to defend my title," Barty said in a statement.

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"I feel grateful to get another week playing in front of Australian fans."

Barty won the Yarra Valley Classic warmup event for the Australian Open at the beginning of February on her return to competitive tennis after a gap of 11 months after opting to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic for most of 2020.

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The 2019 French Open champion will be joined in Adelaide by other Grand Slam winners like last year's Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek and former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

Barty is expected to head to the Middle East next month to play WTA events in Doha and Dubai.

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