Someone dug really deep into Ashleigh Barty's Twitter timeline and discovered a tweet the Australian made about Maria Sharapova in 2011. 11 years ago, a 15-year-old Barty was watching Sharapova and thought the Russian needed to change her game a little bit.
On the day Barty sent out the tweet about Sharapova, the Russian suffered a surprise US Open third round defeat versus Flavia Pennetta. "I think Sharapova needs to change her game a little bit! She doesn't seem to have a plan B, or C!
Her A game usually gets her over the line!" Barty tweeted in 2011.
I think Sharapova needs to change her game a little bit! She doesn't seem to have a plan B, or C! Her A game usually gets her over the line! — Ash Barty (@ashbarty) September 2, 2011
15-year-old Ash Barty really said prime Sharapova was one-dimensional, then went on to win a Slam on every surface and retired at 25
Legendary https://t.co/4PvNUHqTNF — Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) May 20, 2022
Both Barty and Sharapova are now retired
Barty is nine years younger than Sharapova but both are now former players as the Australian announced a shock retirement from tennis this past March.
"Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis. I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend @caseydellacqua to help me. I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together," Barty announced in late March. Before Barty and Sharapova retired, they clashed three times.
Barty and Sharapova were scheduled to meet for the first time at the Brisbane International in 2014 but the match never happened as the Australian was forced to give the Russian a walkover. Four years later in Rome, Sharapova and Barty finally met for the first time and the Russian claimed a three-set win.
In 2019 January, Barty avenged her Rome loss as she beat Sharapova at the Australian Open. The last meeting between Barty and Sharapova came in 2019 August as the Australian beat the Russian in Cincinnati. Several months later, Sharapova announced she was retiring from professional tennis and Barty finished with a winning record versus the Russian tennis legend.