Rising Australian star Astra Sharma recently admitted that she feels lucky to be training with the likes of World No.1 Ashleigh Barty ahead of the Fed Cup final against France. Though she might not get a chance to feature in the tie, she is relishing the fact that she gets to train with the team.
“It is really good to be home, I have been away since Aussie Open,” she said. “I am incredibly lucky to be training with all these players in my home state. With all Ash has accomplished this year, we are all so proud of her and to be able to be on the same court and try to learn from her and see what she does, I am lucky to have that”.
Having played in all four Grand Slams, Sharma said that she felt more experienced to feature in an occasion like this. “You can only go up when you are competing with that calibre of players,” she said. “Definitely from January to now I have made improvements and fill in the gaps that those players expose”.
Teammate Priscilla Hon said she was feeling relaxed after making her debut for Australia in the semi-finals. “Here we are trying to prepare the best we can to win at the weekend, but coming in here you know all the staff a bit better and the players, so it is very comfortable,” she said.
She then spoke about Barty too, saying, “Recently we haven’t talked about her rise and how she is feeling about it, but it is so inspirational for all of us. Looking up to her and seeing what she can do and how professional she is, it pushes us to want to do more”.
“We train sometimes together and she doesn’t give us direct advice, but just seeing every little thing she does (helps)”.