Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the prestigious hardcourt tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami saying she hadn't been able to prepare in the wake of her Australian Open triumph.
"Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I'd hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami," Barty said in a statement released by organizers of Indian Wells, which starts on Wednesday in the California desert.
"I don't believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments," added Barty, who would have been seeking a third straight title in Miami later in March.
In January, Barty became the first Australian to win her home Grand Slam in 44 years.
She was 5-1 down in the second set against American Danielle Collins but came storming back to triumph 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).
Barty captured her third Grand Slam title after her breakthrough French Open success in 2019 and Wimbledon last year.
She joined Serena Williams as the only active players to win majors on all three surfaces.
Collins also pulled out of Indian Wells on Thursday because of an unspecified "continuing injury”.
Collins hasn't completed a match since falling to Barty in Melbourne.
She retired from her first-round match against Marketa Vondrousova in Dubai complaining of dizziness. She had won the first set 6-2 but had lost three straight games in the second when she found herself unable to continue.
Collins's status for Miami remains uncertain.
Barty said she hoped to be back on court representing Australia in the Billie Jean King Cup in April.
"After missing the BJK Cup last year I can't wait to wear the green and gold again," she said.
Barty also offered good wishes in her statement to Australians battling floods and to Ukrainians caught up in the invasion of their country by Russia.
"On a more important note, it has been a tough few weeks at home in Australia and around the world," Barty said.
"I send all of my thoughts and best wishes to everyone in Queensland and New South Wales who have been affected by the devastating floods.
"To the people of Ukraine, especially my peers in the tennis family, we are all thinking of you and hope for peace."
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