Three years ago, Ashleigh Barty had just returned to tennis, skipping all the action between the US Open 2014 and Eastbourne 2016! Starting from the rock bottom, a hard-working and dedicated Aussie have forged her way towards the very top of women's tennis, settling into the top-20 in 2017 and building up her game for even more serious story in 2019.
Barty has been one of the players of the season so far, playing in the final in Sydney and the quarter-final at the Australian Open, sending positive signals and preparing herself for the biggest title in a career in Miami where she defeated three top-7 rivals.
With her eyes set on Grand Slam titles and the very top of the WTA rankings list, Ashleigh went all the way in Paris, conquering Roland Garros as the first Australian player since the 70s, joining tennis immortals and becoming world no.
2. The best thing is, the clay is Ashleigh's worst surface and it is not hard to predict she will be among the title favorites at Wimbledon as well, winning the title in Nottingham a year ago and playing in the final in Birmingham a year before.
The Aussie had made Wimbledon debut at the age of 16 in 2012, competing at the All England Club only three times and losing in the third round in 2018. That could all change in a few weeks and Ashleigh is in the hunt for the first "Channel Slam" since Serena Williams in 2015, with Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley who believes she is capable of winning the most prestigious tennis event in the world.
"Ashleigh will have a good chance at Wimbledon. If you had asked her do you want to play on clay, grass or hard, she would have put clay at the bottom. Now she’s won for the first time on clay and is more likely to win on grass.
I think it’s fantastic that the last two Australian winners of Grand Slams were women. Traditionally, we’ve always benchmarked ourselves against how the men do and that’s the public perception too. People see Ash, they get the racquet out of the cupboard and have a hit. The challenge now is to keep them going." said Tiley.