Ash Barty is part of a very strong WTA Miami Open field as the world No.1 makes her first appearance outside of the Australia in over a year this week.

Barty won the 2019 event, beating Karolina Pliskova.

This year’s tournament features 15 of the top 16 women’s players, with only Serena Williams missing.

The top 4 seeds include Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep Sofia Kenin and Barty.

Ash Barty loses to Karolina Muchova on Rod Laver Arena last month. Photo: Tennis Australia/ FIONA HAMILTON

Barty will open against a qualifier in the second round, with No.25 seed American Alison Riske a possible third round opponent.

Former Miami winner Victoria Azarenka lurks as a potential Round of 16 opponent. Azarenka will face either Laura Siegemund or Christina McHale in the second round and could face No.24 seed Angelique Kerber in the third round.

Others in the the top half of the draw include Halep, Elina Svitolina, Aryna Sabalenka, and Petra Kvitova.

Simona Halep in action against Serena Williams in Melbourne last month. Photo: Tennis Australia/ NATASHA MORELLO

Halep will face either Caroline Garcia or a qualifier in the second round and could face teen phenom Coco Gauff in the third round.

No.11 seed Belinda Bencic is set to open her tournament against three-time champion Venus Williams in the second round, if Williams beats Zarina Diyas in the first round.

Australian Open champion Osaka will open against either Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova or Ajla Tomljanovic.

Spain’s GarbiƱe Muguruza is seeded No.12 after a successful Middle East tour, is a strong contender, given her strong form of late.

But she may well come against No.20 Petra Martic, and then No.8 seed Bianca Andreescu or Amanda Anisimova.

The Canadian will face either Yaroslava Shvedova or a qualifier in her opening round.

Bianca Andreescu’s Australian adventure suffered more injury woes. Photo: Tennis Australia/ JONATHAN DI MAGGIO

Anisimova will play either Sloane Stephens or a qualifier in her opener.

World No.4 Sofia Kenin has recovered from appendicitis surgery and will open against either Andrea Petkovic or Zhang Shuai.

Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady will face either Guadalajara champion Sara Sorribes Tormo or Bernarda Pera in her opening round.