Ash Barty is pleased with how her body coped with the tough conditions during her successful title defence at the Miami Open but the world No.1 is being careful not to rush things as she transitions to the clay season in Charleston this week.
The Australian spent most of the last year at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Miami was her first tournament abroad since February 2020.
“My body feels great,” top seed Barty told reporters on Monday at the WTA 500 event in Charleston.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the preseason to make sure that my body could hold up and withstand a lot of matches and I felt like we were able to do that in Miami.
Proud of our week in Miami 🏆 #10
But it’s never a nice way to finish a match… Wishing Bianca a speedy recovery! The first of many matches for us I’m sure! pic.twitter.com/IE3zGGgNF6
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) April 3, 2021
“It’s really nice to be here now and kind of have a fresh start.
“It’s a fresh surface, it’s a very quick shift for me, changing surfaces … it will be exciting. It’ll be a quick transition, but one that I look forward to.”
The 2019 French Open champion, who turns 25 this month, has a first-round bye and will open her clay-court season against Japan’s Misaki Doi.
“I find that green clay is almost a middle man between hard courts and European red clay,” Barty said.
“Sometimes the green clay is a little bit quicker. You can typically move on it like a hardcourt if you wish, or you can go straight into sliding a little bit and moving like on a traditional clay court.
“So we’ll have to be patient this week and not feel like we’re rushing into trying to feel like we’re playing our best clay court tennis straight away. It’s important to let the body adjust.”
Welcome to clay season 👋
A new month, a new surface 👇 pic.twitter.com/1A7uh9UYf1
— wta (@WTA) April 5, 2021
Barty has not played much on clay since 2019, barring some practice sessions back home in Australia, but she is confident of being ready for this year’s French Open, which is scheduled to start on May 23.
“It’s always a part of the season that I look forward to. It’s challenging without a doubt, but I am very excited to get back to Roland Garros,” she said.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting walking in back onto that site for the first time since 2019.”