Ashleigh Barty
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Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty
Sydney International WTA Players Cruise (31974227527) (cropped).jpg
Barty in January 2019
Country (sports) Australia
Residence
Born (1996-04-24) 24 April 1996 (age 23)[1]
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Height1.66 m (5 ft  in)
Turned proApril 2010
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachCraig Tyzzer
Prize money$16,515,667 (24th in all-time rankings)
Singles
Career record241-91 (72.6%)
Career titles7 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 1 (24 June 2019)
Current rankingNo. 1 (9 September 2019)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenQF (2019)
French OpenW (2019)
Wimbledon4R (2019)
US Open4R (2018, 2019)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsW (2019)
Doubles
Career record185-59 (75.8%)
Career titles10 WTA, 9 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 5 (21 May 2018)
Current rankingNo. 19 (21 October 2019)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (2013)
French OpenF (2017)
WimbledonF (2013)
US OpenW (2018)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (2018)
Mixed doubles
Career record7-8
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2014)
French Open1R (2013)
WimbledonQF (2013)
US OpenQF (2014)
Team competitions
Fed CupF (2019)
Hopman CupRR (2013, 2019)
Last updated on: 3 November 2019.

Ashleigh Barty (born 24 April 1996) is an Australian professional tennis player and former cricketer. She is ranked No. 1 in the world in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and is the second Australian WTA singles No. 1 after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.[a] She is also a top 20 player in doubles, having achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world. Barty has won seven singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including a Grand Slam singles title at the 2019 French Open, a Grand Slam doubles title at the 2018 US Open (with CoCo Vandeweghe) and the 2019 WTA Finals singles title.

Born in Ipswich in Queensland, Barty began playing tennis at the age of four in nearby Brisbane. She had a promising junior career, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world after winning the girls' singles title at Wimbledon in 2011. As a teenager, Barty had early success in doubles on the WTA Tour in 2013, finishing runner-up at three Grand Slam doubles events with veteran Casey Dellacqua, including at the Australian Open while still only 16 years old. Late in the 2014 season, Barty decided to take an indefinite break from tennis. She ended up playing cricket during this hiatus, signing with the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women's Big Bash League season despite having no formal training in the sport.

Barty returned to tennis in early 2016; although she won her first tournament back on the ITF circuit, her year was ultimately marred by an arm injury. In 2017, Barty had a breakout year in singles, winning her first WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rising to No. 17 in the world despite having never been ranked inside the top 100 before her time off. She also had another prolific year in doubles with Dellacqua, culminating in her first appearance at the WTA Finals in doubles. She then won her first Premier Mandatory and Grand Slam tournament titles in doubles in 2018 before accomplishing the same feat in singles in 2019.

Barty is an all-court player who employs a wide variety of shots into her style of play. Despite her short stature, she is an excellent server, regularly ranking among the WTA Tour's leaders in aces and percentage of service points won. Barty is an Indigenous Australian and serves as the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia.

Early life and background

Ashleigh Barty was born on 24 April 1996 to Josie and Robert Barty. Her father works in the government and is a Ngarigo Indigenous Australian.[2][3] Her mother works as a radiographer and is the daughter of English immigrants.[4] Barty grew up in Springfield, a suburb of Ipswich in Queensland and attended Woodcrest State College throughout her upbringing.[5][6] She has two older sisters named Sara and Ali.[3] Besides tennis, Barty also played netball as a child, but decided to focus on tennis because she "thought [netball] was a girls' game"[3] and because her sisters were better than her at that sport.[7] She did not play cricket while growing up.[8]

Barty started working with her longtime junior coach Jim Joyce at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre at the age of four.[9] Joyce remarked that he did not typically train children as young as Barty, but made an exception because of her excellent hand-eye coordination and high level of focus. He recalled a moment from their first lesson, saying, "The first ball I threw to her, bang! She hit it right back."[3] As a child, Barty also practised at home, remembering, "I used to hit the ball against [the wall exterior to our living room] every day after school, for hours on end." By the time she was nine, she was practising against boys who were six years older. At the age of 12, she was playing against male adults.[3]

Former tennis professional Scott Draper later joined Barty's coaching team and worked with her at the National Academy.[10] When she was 15 years old, former top 20 player Jason Stoltenberg took over as her primary coach. Barty's junior schedule took her to Europe and away from her family in Australia for much of the year. The season she turned 17, she was only home for 27 days during the entire calendar year.[3][11]

Junior career

Barty at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships

Barty reached a career-high ITF world junior ranking of No. 2, having excelled at both singles and doubles. She started playing low-level events on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2009 at the age of 13 and won her first title at the Grade 4 Australian International before turning 14. Barty continued to only play in tournaments below the higher tiers until the end of 2010, but compiled a record of 24-2 in her five events that season while also capturing a Grade 2 title in Thailand.[10][12][13] She played her first junior Grand Slam event in 2011 at the Australian Open, where she lost her opening match to third seed Lauren Davis.[4] However, she bounced back from this defeat in the coming months by winning both the singles and doubles events at two high-level Grade 1 events, the Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup in Malaysia in March and the Belgian International Junior Championships in May.[14][15][16]

After a second round loss at the 2011 French Open, Barty won her only junior Grand Slam title at Wimbledon at the age of 15. She became just the second Australian to win the girls' singles event after Debbie Freeman in 1980, and the first Australian girl to win any junior Grand Slam singles title since Jelena Dokic at the 1998 US Open. Compatriot Luke Saville also won the boys' title to help Australia sweep both singles events. The only set she dropped in the tournament was to Madison Keys in the third round, and her victory in the final was against third seed Irina Khromacheva.[12][17][18] In the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, Barty produced another strong singles result, losing to top seed Caroline Garcia in the semifinals of the US Open.[19] Barty also won two more Grade 1 titles in doubles that season, one at Roehampton the week before Wimbledon and the other at the Canadian Open the week before the US Open.[12] She concluded the season by winning the Junior Fed Cup for Australia with teammate Belinda Woolcock.[20][21] Barty only played in one junior tournament the following year, where she finished runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Torneo International in Italy.[12]

Professional career

2010-12: Australian Open debut at 15, top 200

Barty started her professional career in April 2010 just after turning 14 at an International Tennis Federation (ITF) $25K event in her hometown of Ipswich. She lost her first match to Karolina Wlodarczak. Barty played in one more main draw that year in Mount Gambier, where she reached the semifinals in just her second professional tournament. Her first pro match win came against Ayu Fani Damayanti. In 2011, she entered three more $25K events in Australia, with her best results being two quarterfinals.[22] Following her girls' singles title at Wimbledon, Tennis Australia awarded Barty a wildcard into qualifying at the US Open.[23] In her first WTA Tour-level appearance, she was unable to qualify for the main draw, losing her opening round match to Julia Glushko.[24] Barty closed out the year by competing in a playoff for one of the Australian wildcard berths into the main draw of the 2012 Australian Open. Despite being the youngest player in the competition, she won all five of her matches without dropping a set to earn the wildcard. She swept her round-robin group featuring world No. 133 Casey Dellacqua before defeating No. 239 Arina Rodionova and No. 167 Olivia Rogowska in the knockout stage.[25][26]

Barty made her singles and doubles main draw debuts on the WTA Tour in early 2012. Her doubles debut came at the Brisbane International, the first event of the year. After losing in singles qualifying, she partnered with Dellacqua to make the semifinals in doubles while still just 15 years old. Their tournament was highlighted by an upset of the top seeded team of Natalie Grandin and Vladimíra Uhlí?ová, both of whom were in the top 25 of the WTA doubles rankings.[27][28][29] The following week, Barty made her singles debut as a wildcard at the Hobart International, losing her opening round match to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.[30][31] She then made her Grand Slam main draw debut the very next week at the Australian Open, where she lost her first round match to Anna Tatishvili.[32][33] Later in the year, Barty also received wildcards into the main draws of the French Open and Wimbledon, but lost her opening round matches to Petra Kvitová and Roberta Vinci respectively, both of whom were seeded.[29][34]

Besides her first WTA main draw appearances, Barty also had a breakout year on the ITF Women's Circuit. She compiled a singles record of 34-4 in nine tournaments to accompany a doubles record of 25-5 while frequently partnering with compatriot Sally Peers.[13] She won four ITF titles in both singles and doubles.[22] In particular, her first two singles titles came in back-to-back weeks in February in Sydney and Mildura.[35] She also won both the singles and doubles events at the Nottingham Challenge, a mid-level $50K grass court event in the lead-up to Wimbledon.[36] Barty ended the season with a doubles title at the $75K event on carpet in Japan, where she partnered with Dellacqua for the second time for her biggest title of the year.[27] Her quarterfinal appearance in singles at the same tournament helped her rise to No. 177 in the WTA singles rankings, having first cracked the top 200 of the WTA singles rankings a few weeks earlier at the age of 16. She also finished the year ranked No. 129 in doubles.[37]

2013-14: Breakthrough in doubles

In 2013, Barty began playing primarily at the WTA Tour level. She only played in eight singles main draws in total after losing in qualifying at five tournaments.[29] Although she stayed outside the top 100 in singles throughout the year, she established herself as one of the world's elite double players despite not turning 17 until the middle of the season.[37]

Singles: First WTA Tour win, first Grand Slam match win

Barty was awarded another wild card into the 2013 Australian Open singles main draw, but lost her opening match.[38] Towards the end of February, she won her first two WTA Tour-level matches at the Malaysian Open against Chanel Simmonds and Zarina Diyas before her run ended in the quarterfinals.[39][40] Barty's only other two tour-level singles wins of 2013 came at Grand Slam tournaments. She was awarded main draw wildcards into the French Open and US Open, where she won her first round matches at both events.[41][42][13]

Barty began the 2014 season by qualifying for the Brisbane International. She won her opening round match against No. 33 Daniela Hantuchová before withdrawing from the tournament due to a left adductor injury.[43] This transpired to be her only singles main draw win of the year at any level. She played in three Grand Slam main draws, including at the US Open where she had to qualify, but lost all of her first round matches.[29]

Doubles: Three Grand Slam finals, one WTA title

Barty at the 2013 US Open

In doubles, Barty partnered with Dellacqua in eight WTA Tour-level events during the 2013 season, including all four Grand Slam tournaments. The pair finished runner-up in three out of four such events, only failing to reach the final at the French Open where they lost in the first round.[29] At the age of 16, Barty's Australian Open finals appearance made her the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Tatiana Golovin won the mixed doubles title at the 2004 French Open at the same age. As a team, Barty and Dellacqua became the first Australian duo to reach an Australian Open women's doubles final since Evonne Goolagong and Helen Gourlay in 1977.[44][45] This success also helped Barty advance nearly 100 spots in the world rankings to No. 46.[37] At Wimbledon and the US Open, Barty and Dellacqua defeated three of the top ten seeds at both events, including the No. 2 seeds in each case.[29] The closest they came to winning a major title was at the Australian Open and the US Open, where they were up a break with a set in hand in both finals.[46][47][48]

Barty and Dellacqua did win one title together at the Birmingham Classic, where they defeated Cara Black and Marina Erakovic in the final.[49] Without Dellacqua as her partner, Barty had also made two more tour-level semifinals earlier in the year, including at the Premier-level Charleston Open with Anastasia Rodionova. She finished the season as the world No. 12 in the doubles rankings.[37]

Despite her struggles in singles in 2014, Barty had another good year in doubles with Dellacqua as her regular partner.[29] The pair won their second title together at the Internationaux de Strasbourg during the clay season.[50] While they did not repeat their success at the Grand Slam tournaments from the previous year, they still managed to reach the quarterfinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon.[51][52] They also were unable to defend their title at the Birmingham Classic, but made it to the final for the second consecutive year.[53]

Hiatus from tennis, switch to cricket

Ash Barty
Cricket information
BattingRight-handed
BowlingRight-arm medium
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2015-2016Brisbane Heat
2015-2016Queensland Fire
Career statistics
Competition WBBL WNCL
Matches 9 2
Runs scored 68 11
Batting average 11.33 5.50
100s/50s 0/0 0/0
Top score 39 10
Catches/stumpings 3/- 1/-
Source: CricketArchive,

After the 2014 US Open, Barty announced she was "[taking] a break from professional tennis."[54] She later said that she took time off from tennis because "it was too much too quickly for me as I've been travelling from quite a young age... I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences."[55] Barty was ranked outside of the top 200 in singles and was No. 40 in doubles at the time.[37]

Barty became interested in potentially playing cricket after meeting with the Australian women's national team in early 2015 to discuss her experience as a professional athlete. She was intrigued by the opportunity to play a team sport as a change from the individual sport of tennis. At the time, she had no competitive cricket experience, having only played casually with her family. Barty later approached Queensland Cricket about how she could get involved with the sport. Andy Richards, the coach of the Queensland Fire and soon-to-be coach of the Brisbane Heat, was immediately impressed with Barty's skill set, saying, "Her skill from the first time she picked up a bat was outstanding from a coach's perspective... She never missed a ball in her first session... That's what attracted me as a coach to her as a player, her ability to pick up things really quickly."[56][57][58][59]

Barty began training with the Fire in July, and also started playing for the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club, a local team that competes in Brisbane's Women's Premier Cricket Twenty20 league. She had an impressive second game for the team, scoring 63 from 60 to go along with taking 2-13 from four overs.[56][57] Barty played in 13 matches for Western Suburbs, scoring one century and averaging 42.4 runs while taking eight wickets.[60] Western Suburbs ultimately won the league's grand final, with Barty ending up the team's top scorer in the match after hitting 37 from 39 balls.[61]

After Barty's performance in her second game with Western Suburbs, she also signed with the Heat for the inaugural Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) Twenty20 season.[62] Barty made her debut in December and hit 39 off 27 balls with one six in a match against the Melbourne Stars, the second highest score on her team.[55][63] She remained a regular member of the team, but only had a double figure score once more during the season. The Heat finished with a 7-7 record, good for sixth out of eight teams in the competition.[64] The WBBL season ended in January, while the local Brisbane league ended in February.[60]

2016: Return to tennis

Barty at the 2016 Eastbourne Trophy

Barty announced her return to professional tennis in February a few weeks after the end of the WBBL season.[65] At this point, she began working with Craig Tyzzer as her coach.[66] Barty initially only competed in doubles events on the ITF circuit at the low-level $25K tier. In her first two months, she played five tournaments and won three of them, including her first one back where she partnered with Jessica Moore and two in back-to-back weeks in Canberra.[67][68][22]

Barty returned to singles in late May. She qualified for the Eastbourne Trophy, a mid-level ITF $50K event, where she made it to the semifinals in both singles and doubles.[69] The following week, Barty returned to the WTA Tour, where she qualified for the Nottingham Open. She made it to the quarterfinals, losing to top seed Karolína Plí?ková in a close match. She was happy with her performance, saying, "It's nice to know that straight off the bat I can come in and compete with the best in the world."[70] Barty also received a wildcard into qualifying at Wimbledon, but did not reach the main draw.[71] After a bone stress injury in her arm, she only played in one more event that year, the 125K Taipei Challenger in November.[72][73]

2017: Breakthrough in singles

In 2017, Barty reunited with Dellacqua as her regular doubles partner.[29] Starting the year outside the top 250 in both singles and doubles and never having been ranked in the top 100 in singles, she finished the year inside the top 20 in both rankings.[37]

Singles: First WTA title, world No. 17

Near the start of the year, Barty picked up her first career wins at the Australian Open, reaching the third round.[74][75] Barty's next tournament was the Malaysian Open where she had won her first WTA singles match four years earlier. She entered the singles main draw as a qualifier and won both the singles and doubles events. This was her first career WTA singles title and helped her enter the top 100 for the first time.[76][77] Barty continued to climb in the rankings after a quarterfinal at the Internationaux de Strasbourg on clay where she lost to compatriot Daria Gavrilova and a runner-up at the Birmingham Classic on grass, her best result at a Premier tournament.[78][79]

During the US Open series in August, Barty reached back-to-back Premier 5 rounds of 16 at the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open, despite needing to qualify for both events.[80] At Cincinnati, she also defeated world No. 9 Venus Williams for her first career top ten victory.[81] After losing to top 15 players Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina in the opening rounds of the French Open and Wimbledon respectively, Barty took advantage of a slightly better draw at the US Open. She defeated No. 23 Ana Konjuh in her first match en route to reaching the third round, where she lost to the eventual champion Sloane Stephens.[82][83] This performance brought her to No. 37 in the WTA rankings.[37]

Later in September, Barty produced her best result of the season by reaching a Premier 5 final at the Wuhan Open. During the tournament, she defeated three top ten players in No. 7 Johanna Konta, No. 4 Karolína Plí?ková, and No. 10 Je?ena Ostapenko. She lost the final to Caroline Garcia in three sets, despite having two chances to serve for the match.[84] Nonetheless, she rose to No. 23 in the world, setting her up both to become the top-ranked Australian a few weeks later and to qualify for the WTA Elite Trophy at the end of the season.[85] At that event, Barty advanced out of her round robin group by winning both of her matches, the first against No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the second against No. 19 Angelique Kerber.[86] She was eliminated from the tournament by CoCo Vandeweghe.[87] Barty finished the season at a career-high ranking of No. 17 in the world.[88][37]

Doubles: Fourth Grand Slam runner-up, WTA Finals berth

Barty and Dellacqua reached the quarterfinals or better at three out of four Grand Slam tournaments during the 2017 season.[89][90] In particular, they made it to the finals at the French Open to become the first Australian women's doubles team to reach all four Grand Slam finals.[91] They lost the final to the top seeded team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie ?afá?ová who had also won the previous two majors.[92] Barty and Dellacqua contested six finals on the year in total, winning half of them.[29] They won the Birmingham Classic, where Barty also made it to the final in singles. This was their second career title at the event after winning it in 2013, and also their first Premier title together.[79]

Barty and Dellacqua finished the year as the third-highest ranked doubles team, earning them a spot in the WTA Finals.[93] They had narrowly missed qualifying for the event in 2013 when they were the fifth-ranked team and only the top four were accepted instead of eight.[94] In their debut, the duo were upset in the first round by the lowest-seeded team of Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson.[95] Individually, Barty also established a new career-high doubles world ranking of No. 11 towards end of the season.[37]

2018: US Open doubles champion

Singles: WTA Elite Trophy

Barty at the 2018 US Open

Barty had a strong start to the season, reaching the final of the Sydney International in her second tournament of the year.[96] She entered the Australian Open seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time at No. 18, but was upset in the third round by Naomi Osaka.[97] Barty's best result during the clay court season was at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she was the top seed at a WTA Tour singles event for the first time. She reached her first WTA-level clay court semifinal, but had to retire due to a back injury.[98][99] The following week at the French Open, Barty had another tough draw at a Grand Slam event and was defeated by Serena Williams in the second round, despite winning the first set.[100]

Back on her favourite surface, Barty won the Nottingham Open on grass for her second career WTA title. She defeated home favourite and British No. 1 Johanna Konta in the final.[101] She then recorded her first match wins at Wimbledon and reached the third round, matching her best result at a Grand Slam tournament.[102] At the start of the summer hard court season, Barty did well at the Premier 5 hard court tournaments, making it to the semifinals at the Canadian Open and the third round at the Cincinnati Open. She lost to world No. 1 Simona Halep at both events.[103][104] At the US Open, Barty was the 18th seed and reached the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, where she was defeated by No. 8 Karolína Plí?ková.[105]

Towards the end of the season, Barty attempted to defend her previous year's finals appearance at the Wuhan Open. Although she was the only seeded player to make the semifinals, she fell one match short against Aryna Sabalenka.[106] Having maintained her top 20 ranking, she was able to qualify for the year-end WTA Elite Trophy for the second straight season. Barty was grouped with Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia and began play by losing to Sabalenka again, while winning eight games.[107] She then defeated Garcia in straights sets while only conceding seven games, meaning she could only advance if Garcia defeated Sabalenka in straight sets while losing at least eight games.[108] Garcia won the group's final match while dropping precisely eight games to send Barty into the knockout rounds.[109] Barty then defeated defending champion Julia Görges and home favourite Wang Qiang to win the biggest title of her career and end the season at a career-high ranking of No. 15 in the world.[110][111][112]

Doubles: First Grand Slam and Premier Mandatory titles

Barty and Dellacqua reached the third round at the Australian Open. This was their last WTA tournament together before Dellacqua's retirement.[113] Barty partnered with American CoCo Vandeweghe in her next three doubles events, and the pair had their best success in the United States where they won the Miami Open, Barty's first Premier Mandatory title.[114] Although Barty continued to play primarily with Vandeweghe during the rest of the season, she also played two Premier 5 tournaments with Demi Schuurs after her usual partner Elise Mertens withdrew from the Italian Open. Barty and Schuurs won both of their tournaments together, the Italian Open and the Canadian Open.[115][116] The first also helped Barty climb to a career-best WTA doubles world ranking of No. 5.[37]

Later in the season, Barty reunited with Vandeweghe and won her first career Grand Slam title at the US Open. In the semifinals, the pair defeated the top seeded team of Barbora Krej?íková and Kate?ina Siniaková, who were the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champions. In the final, they defeated the second seeded team of Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, who were the reigning Australian Open champions. Barty and Vandeweghe lost the first set and were down two championship points in the second set before coming from behind to win the last two sets in two tiebreaks, saving a third championship point in the final tiebreak.[117] This was the first time ever that a Grand Slam women's doubles final came down to a third-set tiebreak.[118]

Even though Barty and Vandeweghe only played seven tournaments together, their two big titles were enough for them to qualify as the eighth and last seed into the WTA Finals.[119] They upset Barty's other doubles partner Schuurs, who was back with Mertens, in the first round.[120] Their tournament was ended by Babos and Mladenovic in the semifinals in a rematch of the US Open final.[121]

2019: French Open and WTA Finals champion, world No. 1 in singles

Singles: First Grand Slam and Premier Mandatory titles, Tour Finals Champion

Barty at the 2019 Sydney International

For the second consecutive year, Barty began the season with a runner-up finish at the Sydney International, this time losing to Petra Kvitová.[122] During the event, she defeated three top 15 players, including Simona Halep for her first career victory over a current world No. 1 player.[123] At her next tournament, Barty made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open, defeating Maria Sharapova before again losing to Kvitová. She became the first Australian to make the quarterfinals at the event since Jelena Dokic in 2009.[124][125] After a fourth round appearance at the Indian Wells Open,[126] Barty won the Miami Open for her first Premier Mandatory title. She defeated three top 10 players in the event, including No. 2 Kvitová in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Karolína Plí?ková in the final. With this result, she also made her top 10 debut.[127][128]

In the lead-up to the French Open, Barty played only two clay court events. Her best result was a quarterfinal at the Madrid Open, where she lost to No. 3 Halep.[129] She closed out the clay court season by winning her first Grand Slam singles title at the French Open. As the eighth seed, she defeated world No. 38 Markéta Vondrou?ová in the final, dropping just four games. She only lost two sets during the tournament, one to Sofia Kenin in the fourth round and the other to Amanda Anisimova in the semifinals. In particular, she needed to come from a set and a break down against Anisimova, after holding a 5-0 lead in the first set, to advance.[130] With the title, Barty became the first Australian to win the French Open in singles since Margaret Court in 1973 and the first Australian to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sam Stosur at the 2011 US Open. She also rose to No. 2 in the world.[131] Barty then followed up this title with another at her next event, the Birmingham Classic, to become the No. 1 ranked player in the world. She is the second Australian to be No. 1 in the WTA singles rankings after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.[132] Barty's first tournament as World No. 1 came at Wimbledon, where she was seeded first and projected to meet Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. However, Barty was upset by another American, Alison Riske, in the fourth round, breaking her 15-match winning streak. Nonetheless, this marked her best performance to date at Wimbledon, thus she retained her World No. 1 ranking after the tournament.

In the early summer hard-court season, Barty struggled to find success in her first tournament, being upset by Sofia Kenin in the second round in Toronto, after receiving a first-round bye. Because of this early loss, Osaka reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. She found her form again a week later in Cincinnati, where she was seeded first despite her No. 2 ranking. After a first-round bye and a straight set win over former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, Barty posted consecutive come-from-behind three-set wins, first over Anett Kontaveit in the third round and then Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals. After Osaka and Plí?ková both lost their quarterfinal matches, Barty was slated to regain the No. 1 ranking if she reached the final. However, she fell one match short as she was upset in the semifinals by wild card and former World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, then ranked 153rd in the world.

Despite the disappointment, Barty came into the US Open as one of the top contenders for the title, and was seeded second. After having to recover from a blip against Zarina Diyas in her first match, Barty cruised through her next two matches against Lauren Davis and Sakkari to reach the fourth round for the second consecutive year. However, she was upset in the round of 16 by Wang Qiang, in a rematch of the previous year's WTA Elite Trophy final. Nonetheless, as a result of Osaka and Plí?ková also losing in the fourth round, and Simona Halep's early exit, Barty regained the No. 1 ranking following the tournament.

The final part of Barty's season began at the Wuhan Open, where she was seeded first and had a bye to the second round. In her first match she faced former World No. 4 Caroline Garcia and won in three sets. She then recorded wins over Kenin and Petra Martic to set a rematch of the previous year's semifinal against defending champion Aryna Sabalenka. Barty had to be treated during the second set due to a calf injury and ended up losing in two tight sets, although she retained the No. 1 at the end of the tournament.

The next week, Barty entered the China Open with a bye to the second round as she had played the semifinals in Wuhan. She faced Yulia Putintseva in her first match, which she won in straight sets. She then posted three consecutive three-set wins over Zheng Saisai, Kvitová and Kiki Bertens to reach her second Premier Mandatory final of the year, with the latter two victories being her first ones over top 10 opponents since April. However, she lost to Naomi Osaka in the final.[133]

Barty was seeded first at the WTA Tour Finals. At Shenzhen, she defeated Kvitová and Belinda Bencic, but was defeated by Bertens (who was competing as an alternate for Osaka); nevertheless she was ranked at the top of the Red Group. She defeated Plí?ková in three tight sets to reach the final, where she defeated Elina Svitolina for the first time in her career, to win the Tour Finals and $4.42 million in prize money, and became the year-end number one.

Doubles: Premier 5 title, US Open runner-up

With CoCo Vandeweghe injured, Barty began to regularly partner with Victoria Azarenka. The pair reached the semifinals at the Miami Open and won their first title together at the Italian Open, a Premier 5 event. They defeated the top seeded team of Krej?íková and Siniaková in both tournaments.[134] During the summer, they reached another Premier 5 semifinal at the Canadian Open, this time losing to Krej?íková and Siniaková who were again the top seeds.[135] Barty came close to defending her title at the US Open. In the quarterfinals, she and Azarenka defeated top seeds Babos and Mladenovic, Barty's opponents in the 2018 final.[136] They made the final, but lost in straight sets to Elise Mertens and Sabalenka.[137] Although they only played eight tournaments during the season, they nearly qualified for the WTA Finals, falling one spot short in ninth place.[138]

National representation

Fed Cup

Barty also made her Fed Cup debut for Australia in 2013 at the age of 16, playing in two away ties. In their February defeat to the top-seeded Czech Republic, she lost the dead rubber doubles match with Dellacqua.[139] Two months later against Switzerland, Barty won her only match against No. 56 Stefanie Vögele to clinch the tie for Australia and keep them in the top-level World Group the following year.[140]

Barty played in two Fed Cup ties for Australia in 2018. In their February tie against Ukraine, she won both of her singles matches as well as the deciding doubles rubber with Dellacqua to carry her team into the World Group playoffs. This turned out to be the last match Barty would play with Dellacqua, as well as the last match of Dellacqua's career before she officially retired in April.[141][113] In the following round, Barty won both of her singles matches against the Netherlands to help Australia win the tie 4-1 and advance back into the top-tier World Group in 2019 for the first time in four years.[142]

In 2019, Barty was instrumental in Australia's journey to the Fed Cup Final after compiling an undefeated 6-0 record in singles and doubles to lead Australia to quarterfinal and semifinal victories over the United States[143] and Belarus.[144]

Hopman Cup

"I can't believe it myself, I don't remember anything about it. This tops [the junior title at] Wimbledon, this trumps everything. I'm just so happy with the way I played."

--Barty speaking on her Hopman Cup win over Schiavone at age 16.[145]

Barty has represented Australia in the Hopman Cup twice. She made her first appearance at the event in 2013 where she competed alongside Bernard Tomic after Dellacqua withdrew before the tournament due to a foot injury. The Australians finished their round-robin group in second place behind Serbia. They defeated Germany and Italy in their first and last ties, but lost to Serbia in a close tie that was decided by a match tiebreak in the mixed doubles. During the tie against Italy, Barty won a lopsided singles match against former French Open champion and world No. 35 Francesca Schiavone in just 55 minutes, the biggest singles win of her career at the time.[145]

Barty did not return to the tournament until 2019 where she teamed up with Matthew Ebden. Australia finished runner-up in their round-robin group again. The pair won their first two ties against France and Spain,[146][147] but lost both of their singles matches in the decisive tie against the German team of Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev who won all of their ties and the group.[148]

Playing style

Barty serving

Barty has an all-court game and a crafty style of play.[149][150] Her favourite surface is grass, despite initially not liking that surface because she had limited experience playing on it while growing up.[150] Barty has also performed well on hard courts, where she won her first WTA singles title and reached her first Premier 5 level final.[76][84] She has won both singles and doubles titles on all three major surfaces.[22]

Barty's short stature and diverse array of shots have led her to be compared to former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis by David Taylor, one of Hingis' former coaches.[151] She has solid groundstrokes on both the forehand and backhand sides. In particular, she uses her powerful forehand to create sharp angles on cross-court shots. Her kick serve and backhand slice are also two of her better shots. Barty's doubles game translates well to singles, as she frequently comes to the net and excels at volleying. She uses her variety of shots to trouble her opponents.[152][153] Despite her height, Barty is an excellent server. She finished the 2018 season at fourth on the WTA Tour in aces with a total of 297, nearly five per match. She was also second in percentage of service points won that year among players with at least ten matches, behind only Serena Williams.[154]

Thanasi Kokkinakis, one of her compatriot contemporaries as well as one of her mixed doubles partners, has described her game as, "Ash plays different to most girls. She likes to come into the net, she uses her slice very well and she's crafty. Whereas a lot of girls like to hit the ball hard and flat, she plays a little bit differently, she plays with a bit more control... and she makes things awkward for her opponent."[150]

Personal life

Barty took a break from professional tennis from September 2014 until February 2016, and ended up playing semi-professional cricket during the second half of that hiatus. Although she gave no reasons at the time, she later said, "I needed some time to refresh mentally more than anything. It became a bit of a slog for me and I wasn't enjoying my tennis as much as I would have liked to."[153] Her family and coaches all supported her decision.[3] Barty had no intention of retiring and continued to play casually during her hiatus, saying, "It was never in mind that I'd retired as such... I'd been coaching and holding a racket pretty much every day so I wasn't completely out of practice."[153] During her time off, she also pursued her hobbies such as fishing; and built a new house close to her family.[3] She ultimately decided to return to the sport, commenting, "After a break and trying other things, I missed tennis and decided that I wanted to come back."[7]

Barty is the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia.[155] The goal of this position is to promote more indigenous participation in the sport of tennis. Barty has embraced her heritage and her role as an ambassador, saying, "I'm a very proud Indigenous woman and I think that for me taking on this role is something very close to my heart. I'm very excited."[155] She was recognised as the Female Sportsperson of the Year at the National Dreamtime Awards, a ceremony that honors Indigenous Australians, in both 2017 and 2018, the first two editions of the awards.[156][157]

Barty is a supporter of a variety of sports teams including the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League, Manchester United in the English Premier League, and Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League.[9]

Barty has been in a relationship with Australian professional golfer Garry Kissick since 2017.[158]

Career statistics

Performance timelines

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

Singles

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W-L Win %
Australian Open A 1R 1R 1R A A 3R 3R QF 0 / 6 8-6 57%
French Open A 1R 2R 1R A A 1R 2R W 1 / 6 9-5 64%
Wimbledon A 1R Q1 Q3 A Q2 1R 3R 4R 0 / 4 5-4 56%
US Open Q1 A 2R 1R A A 3R 4R 4R 0 / 5 9-5 64%
Win-Loss 0-0 0-3 2-3 0-3 0-0 0-0 4-4 8-4 17-3 1 / 21 31-20 61%

Doubles

Tournament 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W-L Win %
Australian Open 1R F 2R A A QF 2R 2R 0 / 6 11-6 67%
French Open A 1R QF A A F 1R 3R 0 / 5 10-5 67%
Wimbledon A F QF A 1R QF A 3R 0 / 5 13-5 73%
US Open A F 1R A A 2R W F 1 / 5 17-4 81%
Win-Loss 0-1 15-4 7-4 0-0 0-1 12-4 7-2 10-4 1 / 20 51-20 72%

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 1 (1 title)

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 2019 French Open Clay Czech Republic Markéta Vondrou?ová 6-1, 6-3

Doubles: 6 (1 title, 5 runner-ups)

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 2013 Australian Open Hard Australia Casey Dellacqua Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
2-6, 6-3, 2-6
Loss 2013 Wimbledon Grass Australia Casey Dellacqua Chinese Taipei Hsieh Su-wei
China Peng Shuai
6-7(1-7), 1-6
Loss 2013 US Open Hard Australia Casey Dellacqua Czech Republic Andrea Hlavá?ková
Czech Republic Lucie Hradecká
7-6(7-4), 1-6, 4-6
Loss 2017 French Open Clay Australia Casey Dellacqua United States Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Czech Republic Lucie ?afá?ová
2-6, 1-6
Win 2018 US Open Hard United States CoCo Vandeweghe Hungary Tímea Babos
France Kristina Mladenovic
3-6, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(8-6)
Loss 2019 US Open Hard Belarus Victoria Azarenka Belgium Elise Mertens
Belarus Aryna Sabalenka
5-7, 5-7

Records

Awards

Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Australian Tennis Awards

Australian Women's Health Sport Awards

  • Sportswoman of the Year: 2019[163]
  • Moment of The Year: 2019[163]

National Dreamtime Awards

International Tennis Federation

  • ITF Fed Cup Heart Award: 2019 [165]

Sportsmanship

Notes

  1. ^ Margaret Court was also ranked No. 1 in singles before the WTA rankings were established in 1975.

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External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Japan Naomi Osaka
Japan Naomi Osaka
World No. 1
24 June 2019 - 12 Aug 2019
9 September 2019 -
Succeeded by
Japan Naomi Osaka
Incumbent

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Ashleigh_Barty
 



 



 
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