The 22-year-old Ashleigh Barty has been one of the players to beat so far in 2019, scoring ten wins from 12 singles matches and becoming the Fed Cup hero after three wins over the USA in Asheville on Saturday and Sunday to propel her country into the World Group semi-final.
As was expected, the world no. 13 has decided to withdraw from this week's Premier event in Doha, citing hip injury and taking the much-needed time off the court before returning in Dubai. Thus, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova are the main favorites for the title although the organizers have surely been missing Barty and Naomi Osaka who also opted to skip Doha and prepare for Dubai.
After losing in the final of Sydney and the quarter-final of the Australian Open to Petra Kvitova, Ashleigh led Australia in tricky away Fed Cup tie and they defeated the USA for the first time since July 1984 thanks to three wins she scored.
After a break from tennis she took, Barty returned even stronger and she is among the best songles&doubles players in the world, steadily improving her game and chasing big titles in the rest of 2019. “I’ve said right from the start, it’s an honour and privilege to be able to play for Australia.
When the captain Alicia Molik asked me to play three times during the week, I put my hand up absolutely, do whatever she asks,” Barty said. “For all of us, I’m so proud of every single person sitting on this table.
I think in particularly Mol having the belief and the faith in us, knowing that whoever she puts out on the court, we can back in 100 percent. It’s the best feeling in the world, to be honest. No matter what the crowd is like, when you’re playing with Australia written on your back, wearing the green and gold, it’s the best feeling, regardless if you’re home or away”.