(Reuters) – Australian Ash Barty has equipped no certainty if she’s going to play customarily on the ladies folk’s tour amid the COVID-19 pandemic no subject Naomi Osaka closing in on her world no 1 rating with a fourth Valuable Slam title in Melbourne.

Barty authorised a wildcard to defend her Adelaide Global title this week after making an exit on the quarter-closing stage of her dwelling Valuable Slam with a defeat to Czech Karolina Muchova.

The Queenslander skipped closing year’s U.S. Open and did no longer defend her 2019 French Open title, opting no longer to shuttle for this reason of effectively being issues amid the pandemic.

Barty, who is anticipated to plod to the Center East subsequent month to play WTA events in Doha and Dubai, stated she confronted no effectively being points at some stage in the Melbourne Park swing no subject returning to the circuit after 11 months.

“We map as easiest as we are in a position to,” the 24-year-old told reporters in Adelaide on Monday. “Obviously in the recent mission nothing’s distinct. It be sophisticated to map, really, nonetheless we staunch plod alongside with the recommendation that now we bear been given.

“Surely I’d delight in to be encourage on tour elephantine-time, and all those decisions will advance as discontinuance as we are in a position to to the events, nonetheless also as a ways out to strive and map a schedule and map a tour.”

Barty did no longer play for 11 months nonetheless has calm held on to her top keep because the ladies folk’s governing body adjusted the WTA rankings for this reason of the pandemic, allowing players the facility to skip tournaments without the dread of shedding parts.

In inequity, 2nd-ranked Osaka gained closing year’s U.S. Open and the Australian Open on Saturday nonetheless calm finds herself greater than 1,300 parts on the encourage of the Australian.

“There might maybe be no further stress. The further stress is non-existent for me,” Barty stated about Osaka’s ascent.

“I will no longer control what anybody else does. For the tournaments or with the rankings, that is out of my control. As for defending parts, I mediate that is a extraordinarily detrimental advance to stare upon it.”

The rivalry between Barty and 23-year-old Osaka can be the highlight feature of the tour for the next couple of years.

“I’ve most productive conducted her a pair times. Now we bear got no longer conducted plenty,” Barty stated, including she had no longer watched Saturday’s closing between Osaka and American Jennifer Brady.

“So confidently or no longer it is a possibility for me to play in opposition to her in some colossal moments in colossal tournaments. That is what we dream of … attempting to keep yourself in region to grab colossal titles.

“So maybe this can even unbiased happen one day nonetheless in the meanwhile that shouldn’t be any longer what I’m wired about.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Stephen Coates)

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