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Ashleigh Barty to join Djokovic in Adelaide exhibition before Australian Open

World No.1 Ash Barty joins A Day at the Drive field World No.1 Ash Barty will return to the court in Adelaide next week ahead of Australian Open
Cary Erickson | 23 January, 2021, 19:11

World number one Ashleigh Barty will make her first top-level tennis appearance in almost a year when she joins a star-studded exhibition in Adelaide this month, organisers said on Thursday.

The one-day exhibition, part of the build-up to the Australian Open Grand Slam from February 8, will feature four singles matches in front of a limited crowd.

There are an impressive 67 Grand Slam single titles between the star-studded competitors taking to the court for the exhibition.

"Compared to the players who are not in hard quarantine in Melbourne, we have pretty similar conditions".

"I am looking forward to playing my first match for the 2021 season in Adelaide", Barty said. Barty, 24, has not played a competitive match since February, opting not to defend her French Open title and skipping the U.S. Open in NY amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley said earlier in the week that the top players were sent to Adelaide to ensure organisers did not exceed the limit set by the authorities for people quarantining in Melbourne.

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'I have fond memories from the Adelaide International previous year and it will be great to get back on court here for A Day at the Drive'.

"I accidentally forgot to wear a mask in a supermarket (on January 21) in Melbourne", Barty said. Barty didn't play at the US Open and the French Open a year ago because of the threat of...

World No 3 Dominic Thiem said there is no great advantage for players self-isolating in Adelaide compared to conditions in Melbourne where the vast majority are serving the 14-day quarantine requirement ahead of the Australian Open.

Barty has not played a competitive match since last February.

"We all really need to respect whatever Australia has gone through to get to this point where, you know, just driving through the courts you see the residents of Melbourne walking around without masks, interacting, and I know that they've sacrificed to get to that point", the world No. 82 told ABC Radio Melbourne.