Ashleigh Barty: "Novak Djokovic is an incredible ambassador for our sport"

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Ashleigh Barty: "Novak Djokovic is an incredible ambassador for our sport"

Novak Djokovic started 2020 in an incredible way, winning the ATP Cup and the Australian Open for the eighth time in his career. The Serbian champion is back number 1 in the world thanks to his success in Melbourne and could exceed Roger Federer's record of weeks at the top.

During a recent interview, Ashleigh Barty had some words of praise for her World number 1 counterpart in the ATP ranking: "Novak is incredible. Obviously, for him the start of the year has been incredible in Australia,” the 23-year-old Australian said, speaking to press at Doha before the start of the event.

“I think Australians see him having a little bit of that Aussie spirit, having won so many times Down Under. I know that he’s an incredible athlete, he’s an incredible ambassador for our sport. He’s a great person to bring our sport into the light”.

She also added: "I needed to have an extra few days off just to let my body settle. We had a couple of little niggles going on after the Australian Open,” she said. “I think it was about 10 days of no racket and then, just because I needed to give myself those extra few days.

In a perfect world, it probably would have been just under a week, but I had to give myself that extra time just to make sure that it didn’t derail the rest of my season. Sometimes you have to make those decisions to make sure that in the long-term you are looking after yourself.

I feel really good now. For me, this is a new place to visit, a new experience, a new culture and I’m loving it”.