Queenslander Ash Barty looking to end on a high
ASH Barty will bid for a rousing finish to the tennis year in Singapore and China in the last fortnight of her season.
Barty, who has not played for three weeks due to an arm injury, will play her first doubles match on Friday at the WTA championships in Singapore with American CoCo Vandeweghe.
Next week, Barty will take her place at the WTA trophy tournament in China for the best performer players of the year who did not qualify for Singapore.
Barty and Vandeweghe, who have won two WTA doubles titles together this year including the US Open, will meet fourth seeds Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs.
In the WTA Elite Trophy, Barty, ranked No. 19, will have seven players in the field ranked higher than her - Daria Kasatkina (10), Anastasjia Sevastova (11), Arnya Sabalenka (12), Elise Mertens (13), Julia Goerges (14), Garbine Muguruza (17) and Caroline Garcia (18)
At last year's event in Zhuhai, the Ipswich right-hander accounted for former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, but lost to Vandeweghe.
Barty said on a brief return to Queensland last month that she wanted to finish the year well before pre-season training aimed at the Australia circuit, which she will start at Perth's Hopman Cup from December 30.
As Australia's highest ranked singles player, the 22-year-old is well placed to be awarded both the Ashley Cooper Medal for Queensland's best performed player of the year, presented on Saturday night in Brisbane, and also the national John Newcombe Medal next month.
Barty won both honours last year.
Meanwhile, Brisbane's Jason Kubler will fall out of the top 100 following his second round loss at the Traralgon Challenger in Victoria.
Kubler dropped 13 places to No. 110 on live rankings with his 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3 loss to Britain's Brydan Klein.
Klein, 28, won an Australian Open junior title while representing Australia, but changed allegiance after a series of on-court disciplinary issues and is ranked No. 309.
Kubler, 25, has entered next week's Canberra Challenger and unless he wins that title would be reliant on a wildcard to avoid playing qualifying for the Australian Open unless he chases tournaments in Asia.
Australians John Millman and Matthew Ebden were also sent packing in the first round of the Basel, Switzerland tournament on Wednesday.
Millman fell 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 to German Davis Cup player Jan-Lennard Struff, while Ebden was ousted 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 by Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin.
Popyrin, 19, was the 2017 French boys champion and at 196cm is built to dimensions which favour his rise through the ranks from his current No. 174 standing.
World No. 3 Roger Federer was tested by Filip Krajinovic before winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at the Swiss Indoors.
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