Ash Barty has revealed she was in tears when she left Australia to head to the Miami Open and she may not be able to return home until the end of the 2021 season.
The World No.1 says the COVID-19 hotel quarantine requirements in Australia make scheduling a journey home during the season difficult.
“Obviously with the quarantine laws in Australia, we do our two weeks’ quarantine in a hotel, and there is actually not a lot of space in the season to be able to do that just to get home,” she said.
“So at this stage we’re planning to be away until after the US Open (in September) and potentially right to the end of season.”
Barty was speaking after she cruised into the last 16 at the Miami Open with a 6-3 6-2 win over Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday.
While Barty is no stranger to long periods away from home, she admitted settling into a stretch that could last until November is taking some getting used to.
“Without a doubt it was something that was new to me, new to try and wrap my head around and comprehend,” Barty said.
“Of course there were tears the days leading up. There were tears when I did finally leave, and then when we left.
“Then we were delayed and had to leave again. It was all kind of happening.”
Barty, who is the defending Miami Open champion as last year’s event was cancelled, is playing her first tournament outside of Australia since February 2020.
Up next for the top seed in Miami will be a clash with either Angelique Kerber or Victoria Azarenka.