Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova Announce Unfortunate News for Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Published 10/05/2021, 12:12 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty during her second round match against Poland’s Magda Linette REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will unfortunately not take part in Australia’s attempt to win the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. In place of her, the country’s young and talented Ajla Tomljanovic will head Team Down Under in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Besides, the sensational Karolina Pliskova has also decided to skip the tournament this year. She reasoned the same, stating she wanted to focus on the Champions Tournament and allow younger girls to represent their country in such significant events.

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Earlier, Barty with John Peers bagged the bronze medal for Australia in Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles event. Afterward, she competed at the US Open but crashed out in the third round against Shelby Rogers.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Mixed Doubles – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Bronze medallists Ashleigh Barty and John Peers of Australia celebrate on the podium REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Since then, Barty has not played a single tournament on the WTA Tour. Deservingly well, she took a break after a long road trip on the circuit, which started in February.

Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova opt-out of Billie Jean King Cup Finals

In 2019, the Aussie ace helped her country reach the finals of the Fed Cup. However, in the deciding doubles match, Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur lost to France, and so the title.

Notably, the last time Australia won the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, known as the Fed Cup then, was in 1974. And this year, their top player has decided to miss the event altogether.

As for Karolina Pliskova, she expressed what the tournament has meant for her in the past. But given the tight calendar, she had no option but to make a difficult choice.

“I’ve played the Fed Cup several times, and we’ve won the finals twice, so I know how beautiful the emotions are. But I will not be on the team this year,” Pliskova said.

Unsurprisingly, both Barty and Pliskova have also qualified for the WTA Finals this year. But while the Czech star is proud to make it into the Top 8, it is still unsure if the Aussie would play to defend her title.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 Champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia poses for a photo with the trophy alongside runner up Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic after their final match REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Is Barty playing Indian Wells 2021?

No, Barty has been on a break since US Open 2021 and has extended it to the Indian Wells tournament. She is one of the biggest names in the missing list of players competing in the desert this year.

Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA;
Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits to Shelby Rogers of the USA on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Do you think after withdrawing from Indian Wells and Billie Jean King Cup Finals, Barty will come out to defend her WTA Finals title? Let’s wait and see.

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Purav Joshi

1230 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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