World Number one Ashleigh Barty will return to competitive tennis after a hiatus period of eleven months. Her comeback is slated at one of the two WTA tournaments in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open. One of the most exciting players in 2019, Barty barely played any tennis in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw Australia close its borders early.
Last year she failed to defend her French Open title, and later also missed out on the US Open. Fans will without a doubt, love to see the 24-year-old from Queensland, Australia back on the court. Barty will be seen along with 49 of the top 50 women tennis players in the world spread across the two WTA 500 events, The Gippsland Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic. The events will be played between Jan 31st – 6th Feb as part of the Melbourne Summer Series.
Superstar Serena set to return as well
Another fan favorite Serena Williams will also make her comeback through the same event. Serena was the subject of some hate recently from a Romanian billionaire named Ion Tiriac. Speaking to a Romanian TV channel, Tiriac, who also owns the Madrid Open Tennis tournament, stated that, “At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago. Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire. From all points of view.” But thankfully, he was quickly shut down by Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian.
Serena last played competitive tennis at the French open where she retired early. These WTA 500 events will give her good practice ahead of the Australian open. If she does manage to win the Grand Slam, it would be her 24th overall – a record-equaling feat.