Ash Barty is a Grand Slam champion. It’s been a hell of a journey to this moment in her career.
In 2014 Ash Barty at the age of 18 made a decision to take a hiatus from Tennis. The Australian who made her debut at the age of 15 had been travelling around the world on the tour and wanted a bit of a teenage life.
Following her break she decided to take up another sport, Cricket.
She was really good at Cricket and was playing semi-professional.
In 2016 (3 years ago this week) she announced her return to tennis. She turned up at a small event on the Eastbourne coast without a ranking, now she is a number two in the world.
Her tennis return has been an incredible journey.
She had a lot of success in doubles and teamed up with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua once again when she returned to the tour as three major defeats together.
They completed the achievement of appearing in all four major doubles finals together in Paris in 2017 but sadly lost.
Last year Ash teamed up with CoCo Vandeweghe and it was The Australian/American pair who won their first major title in New York against Babos/Mladenovic.
Coming into 2019 she had three singles titles to her name since her return and nine doubles titles.
Her season really kicked off in Sydney where she beat Simona Halep in round one before falling in the final.
Her good form wasn’t stopping there.
I was there in Melbourne and the support was super for The Australian with the Barty Army in full voice. With a win against Sharapova she got her place in a first major quarter final but it would end there for her.
Since her return she had won 12 titles in total but her 13th would be her biggest.
Miami Open had a new home at the Hard Rock Stadium as once of the top tournaments on the women’s tour and it was Ash who took the headlines. Wins against Stosur, Bertens, Kontaveit, Kvitova and Pliskova sealed her biggest title to date.
Another highlight was a team one as she helped Australia reach their first Fed Cup final in over 30 years which will be held in Australia at the end of the year!
One of the highlights of her year has been her link up with Victoria Azarenka. The Australian and Belarussian duo have been a delight to watch and in the lead up to the second major the year picked up their first title together in Rome.
Now, Roland Garros…
Ash said earlier on in the clay season ‘A week on clay is a week closer to grass’. It’s well known it isn’t her favourite surface and now she is a major winner.
Ash brought her strong, fearless and full of variety tennis to the court and wowed the French crowds with a fortnight of incredible tennis.
Now she is world number two.
Is she Wimbledon favourite?
Top 3, easily.
Everyone female player in the draw will have their eyes on it and will be dreading to see Ash’s name near theirs. If you think of the tennis she’s played on clay and the variety she has shown, just wait until we see her on her favourite surface…
What happens next will be exciting to watch!