Over the last four years, we have seen Ashleigh Barty make an exceptional return to professional tennis in 2016 after falling out of love with the sport in 2014.
It was the break that you could say that Barty needed, as she is currently ranked the world’s number one player after her meteoric rise up the WTA rankings.
Barty is a modest and humble individual making the perfect role model for all Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Women’s Game looked back at Australia’s Golden Girl of tennis best career moments so far.
THE GRAND RETURN FROM CRICKET
When Barty returned to tennis after two years she whizzed past Japan's Nao Hibino 6-3, 6-2 at the Malaysian Open final.
The title win was her maiden WTA singles title in Kuala Lumpur. It would go down as one of Barty’s best career moments on her return to tennis and of the decade breaking into the world's top 100 rankings for the first time.
BREAKING THE DUCK IN OZ
At the start of the 2020 WTA tour season, Barty won her first WTA title on home soil at the Adelaide International. It was a straight-sets win over the number 24 seed Ukrainian Dayama Yastremska 6-2, 7-5. Barty was in complete control in the match, only conceding two points on serve in the first set that lasted for 30-minutes.
The Ukrainian was unable to stop the dominance shown from Barty, as she made 14 unforced errors and she served three double faults in the first set. For the Queenslander, to notch up her maiden WTA title in Australia would be a career moment Barty would cherish.
ROLAND GARROS SEMI-FINAL
Barty’s 2019 semifinal win over American Amanda Animisova at Roland Garros was a huge moment in the 24-year-olds career. She was behind a set and 0-3 in the second set, but the tide turned for Barty as she fought back to win the next six games in a row to take the second set. Her momentum continued in the third and deciding set and she took it 6-3.
Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer (who she started working with in 2016), believes that Barty transformed from a good player to a great player at that moment when she was on the brink of defeat, because she was able to come back hard and turn the game on its head.
For Barty, it was her self belief and confidence that she could do it and she did as she advanced through to her first championship final.
HER FIRST GRAND SLAM
In Barty’s first championship final, last year, she claimed her first grand slam title victory at Roland Garros (2019) against Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. It took Barty an hour and 10 minutes to cruise past the Czech. Barty became the first Australian female to win the French Open in 46 years. The last Australian champion to win at Roland Garros was Margaret Court in 1973, so it was a momentous occasion for Barty and Australia.
THE MIAMI OPEN TRIUMPH
Barty defeated Czech’s Karolina Pliskova 7-6, 6-3 at the Miami Open in 2019. It was her fourth career title and the biggest title of her career, as she became the first Australian woman since 2013 to make the top 10 in the world WTA rankings.
It is hard to believe that Barty has achieved a world number one ranking and eight singles titles including a grand slam and she is still only 24-years-old.
Also, it is amazing that she was able to turn her whole professional tennis career around in four years after taking a hiatus for two years.
For Barty to do all of this in such a short time is a credit to her not only as a player, but as a person. It will be exciting to see what great moment’s Barty will pull off in the future.