Ash Barty pushes back return as Jennifer Brady cops a spanking

World number one Ash Barty will not compete at the Dubai Championships next week because of a leg injury.

“Unfortunately I have withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a left leg injury,” she said in a statement published by the WTA.

“I look forward to competing again in Miami in a few weeks’ time.”

Barty, who also dropped out of the Qatar Open currently underway in Doha, is the reigning champion at Miami.

Unseeded American Danielle Collins sent an out-of-sorts Barty crashing out of the Adelaide International in the second round last month.

It followed her quarterfinal exit at the Australian Open at the hands of Karolina Muchova.

In Qatar, seventh seed and Australian Open finalist, America’s Jennifer Brady, succumbed 6-1 6-2 to Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in a shockingly one-sided match.

Ashleigh Barty played with her leg strapped in Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Kontaveit kicked off the tournament by applying significant pressure on Brady in the opening exchanges, setting the stage for an upset under the cloudy Doha sky.

Brady, who had won nine of her last 11 matches prior to Doha, struggled to get into her stride with the Estonian dominating the opening set, repeatedly forcing Brady off balance.

“I watched Jennifer’s journey at the Australian Open … I was expecting a very difficult match and I’m very pleased to get to the second round,” said Kontaveit.

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka provided what was perhaps the best tennis on the opening day, with Azarenka prevailing 6-2 6-3.

Despite conceding the first set, Russia’s Kuznetsova put up a spirited defence in the second leading to increasingly sprawling rallies with her well-matched Belarusian opponent.

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A number of knife-edge line calls added to the suspense as the two played into the evening, prolonged by Kuznetsova’s formidable depth and court coverage in the second set.

Azarenka’s composure slipped in the seventh game of the second as she failed to capitalise on several break points, swearing loudly towards her coach.

Elsewhere, Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova tested her Spanish opponent, world number 15 Garbine Muguruza, but ultimately slipped to a 6-2 7-6 defeat.

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko put in one of her best performances of recent months, undoubtedly capitalising on Kiki Bertens’ recent achilles surgery, thrashing her 6-0, 6-2.

– AFP

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