Ashleigh Barty is chasing a strong finish to the year as the season nears its end, her’s at least.
She has been excused for three weeks after hurting her business arm.
She will return to action Friday at the WTA Championships in Singapore, playing doubles with American CoCo Vandeweghe. The pair won the doubles crown at the U.S. Open and they will be matched against the fourth seed pairing of Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs.
At the same tournament last year, Barty dismissed world number one Angelique Kerber, but then lost to her doubles partner in singles play.
Barty to The Courier-Mail that her goal was to finish strongly, using the tournaments in Singapore and China to form up for play in the Hopman Cup in Perth and the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Barty, who one time hopped codes to try her hand at cricket, where she did well, as one might assume, is just 22 but enjoys the top rank of any Australian singles player. She looks to be the presumptive winner of the Ashley Cooper Medal awarded to Queensland’s best player of the year, as well as the prestigious John Newcombe Medal that will be conferred in November.
Barty took both awards last year, so her awards closest may need to be expanded and it would seem only a matter of time until she breaks through and adds to her two WTA titles.
Her versatility may aid in that regard, as she has made it to the doubles finals of four Grand Slam level tournaments, beginning with the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2013, the French Open in 2017 and the win in the most recent U S Open.
She has made it deep into Slams as a singles player and made it to the fourth round of the 2018 U S Open.
Some of the Aussie men, John Millman in particular, are breathing new life into Australian tennis, although it would be premature to start making comparisons to the Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe era.