The 22-year-old Ashleigh Barty has been one of the best players on the WTA Tour since the beginning of the season that saw 18 different champions from as many tournaments. The Ipswich native made a break from tennis only to return even stronger, constantly working on her game and setting eyes on important results in 2019.
They are already here after the first four months of 2019, with the Aussie winning 20 out of 23 singles matches and cracking the top-10! It all started in Sydney where she lost the thrilling final to Petra Kvitova, losing to the Czech again in the quarter-final of the Australian Open before a tight loss to Elian Svitolina in the fourth round at Indian Wells.
Destined for big results and trophies, Ashleigh went all the way in Miami, beating Dayana Yastremska, Samantha Stosur, Kiki Bertens, Petra Kvitova, Anett Kontaveit and Karolina Pliskova to wrap up tie crown and secure the place in the top-10 for the first time.
Besides that, Barty has been the driving force of the Australian Fed Cup that has reached the first final since 1993, becoming the first player in the history of this competition to win all six rubbers in the opening two ties of the World Group!
Making her Fed Cup debut in 2013 against the Czech Republic at the age of 16, Ashleigh has won incredible 17 out of 19 Fed Cup rubbers, returning to the team in 2017 and helping Australia to reach the highest level and fight for the first title since 1974 when they host France in November.
In the quarter-final, the Aussie girls took down the USA 3-2 in Asheville for the first win over the great rivals since 1984. Barty defeated Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys to keep Australia alive and together with Priscilla Hon she took down Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar in the deciding fifth rubber to secure the place in the semi-final.
There, Australia hosted Belarus last weekend in Brisbane on Pat Rafter Arena and they needed Barty at 120% to prevail 3-2 and advance into the final, scoring triumphs over Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka to deliver two much-needed points and allow Australia to hang in before the doubles encounter.
Paired with Samantha Stosur, Ashleigh toppled Azarenka and Sabalenka in an hour and 55 minutes to punch the final ticket, saving the best tennis for the deciding set to continue their amazing Fed Cup story in 2019 that allows them to play for the crown between November 9-10 against France in front of the home fans.
There is no doubt Barty will be there to lead her country again, mentioning the importance of Fed Cup many times and how she would love to win the trophy.