Barty reveals travel ban forced French Open call
Unsuccessful attempts to get her trainer in to Brisbane compromised world number one Ash Barty's preparations too much to defend her French Open crown.
Barty said she took "months" to decide on withdrawing from the entire European season after travel restrictions prevented her coach Craig Tyzzer from flying to Brisbane to train her.
She hasn't trained with Tyzzer since March, and doesn't know when she will be able to link up with him.
The world No. 1 and defending women's champion at Roland Garros said they tried to get travel exemptions but when they were denied had to make the best decision for her team and focus on preparing for the Australian summer of tennis.
"It's been a real challenge for Tyz," she said.
"I haven't been able to see him since March. It's been a tricky time for us to try to get ready for our preparation.
"We tried to go through all the applications, tried to do all the right things, but unfortunately we were rejected.
"We'll try again for pre-season. Hopefully he can come up here and we'll prepare as best we can for the Australian summer."
It has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made… https://t.co/Tyh2yKEHxV— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) September 8, 2020
Barty said it wasn't an easy decision, but the best one.
"It was a challenging decision, a decision that we mulled over for many months," Barty said.
"There were a couple of factors going into it.
"The COVID risk at the moment was still too much of a risk, and not being able to train with my coach Craig, not having him up here in Queensland's been really tough.
"The preparation for us hasn't been ideal in any sense.
"We've made the decision now and I feel like it's the best decision for our team."
Barty said she instead had enjoyed a rare winter at home in Queensland and would be ready to go when she resumed playing.
"It's been weird being at home for such a long time. It's been my first winter in Brisbane for five or six years now, and it's been nice to spend time with family and friends (and) try to learn some news skills," she said.
"I continued training throughout the whole period."
Barty has also kept a close eye on the progress of fellow Australian Alex de Minaur at the US Open.
De Minaur meets No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem in a quarter-final clash on Thursday morning.
"It's great for 'Demon'. I'm rapt for him. He's a genuine bloke and a great friend of mine," Barty said.
"It's really nice to see him in his first (Grand Slam tournament) quarter-final. It's a level he genuinely belongs at. I really hope he goes well in the rest of the tournament."
Originally published as Barty reveals denied travel exemptions forced French Open call