Ash Barty’s Five Most Defining Moments

Ashleigh Barty Wimbledon Trophy
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After World #1 Ashleigh Barty made the shocking announcement that she would be retiring at the age of just 25, the tennis world has reflected on her fantastic career in the sport.

Here are some of the best moments in her decorative career, which saw her win 15 singles and 12 doubles titles.

Ash Barty’s Five Most Defining Moments

1) First WTA singles title in Malaysia (2017)

Barty took a hiatus from tennis in 2014, when she was only 18, to pursue a career in cricket. However, two years later the Australian returned to the sport with an evident fire in her belly. This came to fruition when she won her first WTA singles title in Kuala Lumpur, the same tournament that she had won her first WTA singles match four years prior.

The woman from Queensland entered the tournament as a qualifier, defying the odds to get all the way to the final. In that final she beat the Japanese player Nao Hibino in comfortable fashion, 6-3 6-2, to get her first taste of glory on the WTA tour. This was not her only success at this event, as she also lifted the doubles title alongside her best friend Casey Dellacqua.

2) Maiden Grand Slam Title at Roland Garros (2019)

Barty continued to collect titles, and at the end of 2018 found herself inside the Top 15 for the first time. In 2019, Barty really took the next step. She began her season in her home country, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. At the time this was her best achievement at a major tournament.

At the French Open, she went one better. Seeded number eight, Barty cruised to the title dropping only two sets along the way (one to Sofia Kenin in round four, the other to Amanda Anisimova in the semifinals). Barty came up against World #38 Marketa Vondrousova in the final, and the occasion certainly did not get to her. The Australian dropped only four games, winning 6-1 6-3, to obtain the Suzanne-Lenglen cup.

Barty became the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973, and the first Australian to win a Grand Slam of any nature since Sam Stosur at the 2011 US Open.

3) Top of the world rankings (2019)

Barty’s Roland Garros triumph skyrocketed her up to #2 in the world rankings. However, the best had yet to come. In her next tournament in sunny Birmingham, Barty won her sixth singles title and therefore became World #1. By doing so she became only the second Australian woman to claim the top spot on the rankings, alongside her mentor and idol, Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

She was quickly overthrown by Naomi Osaka after a poor showing at the Canadian Open. But it did not take long for Barty to regain her number one spot, and that has been the case ever since. In total, Barty spent 120 weeks as number one and is only the fifth woman to finish the year at the top of the rankings for three consecutive years.

4) Dreams come true at Wimbledon (2021)

Winning Wimbledon was Barty’s ultimate goal in tennis, and in 2021 she made that dream become reality. Due to the impact of Covid-19, Barty took an 11-month hiatus from the sport. When she returned it was like she had never left. She collected three titles to kick off the year, including the Miami Open.

However, her clay season was less successful, being heavily disrupted due to injuries. This left her unable to compete in any grass-court warm up tournaments to prepare for Wimbledon. Of course this did not phase the Aussie in the slightest. She beat the reigning French Open Champion, Barbora Krejcikova and former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, on her way to the final.

At the packed Wimbledon final, Barty triumphed against the powerhouse Karolina Pliskova, in a tense three-set clash on SW19. Barty lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish sporting a scallop-patterned dress, inspired by her cultural roots as an Indigenous woman.

5) Home town hero in Melbourne (2022)

Barty’s “last hurrah” came in her homeland in Australia. She began her season with both singles and doubles titles in Adelaide, and then moved on to aim to do what no Australian woman had done for 44 years.

Barty cruised to the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, not dropping a single set along the way. She beat Danielle Collins, 6-3 7-6, in the final on the Rod Laver arena to win the Australian Open. By dong so Barty became only the eight woman to win a Grand Slam on all three surfaces. Many Australian tennis greats, including the last Aussie winner of the tournament Chris O’Neil were in attendance, and she was presented with the trophy by the surprise arrival of Goolagong Cawley.

Although Barty’s tennis career finished a lot earlier than many expected and would have hoped for, her legacy is insurmountable. If this is the last we ever see of her on a tennis court, then she did it on a high, and she did it her way.

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