Young Ash Barty Stops Tennis, Signs Up For Cricket

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Ash Barty Tennis News

The Aussie Ash Barty looked like she was going to be a tennis star. In 2011, she won the junior Wimbledon championship. In 2013, she and the other Aussie, Casey Dellacqua reached the  Grand Slam doubles finals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open. But in 2014, she was already slipping and in September, she took a break.

Shockingly, this week the 19 year old has switched sports, signing on with the Brisbane Heat for cricket to play in the Women’s Big Bash League.

At least now, she has quit tennis, but she could return someday. She started learning to play cricket this year and according to the Queensland coach Andy Richards, she is already very good.

“Her skill from the first time she picked up a bat was outstanding from a coach’s perspective,” Richards said. “She never missed a ball in her first session. She’s probably hit more balls than most of our cricket players coming through. It might not have been a cricket ball, but it’s a ball at 120kms plus an hour. That’s what attracted me as a coach to her as a player, her ability to pick up things really quickly.”

A few years ago, Barty looked like she was going places. She was coached by the notable David Taylor (who now coaches Sam Stosur), and he thought that some day she would be able to become No. 1, just like the short but fast Martina Hingis once did. But she couldn’t be pushed too fast.
“She’s the real deal. She is amazing,” Taylor said “.But we have to be careful with her. People are excited because she is such an outstanding talent and we haven’t had one like that for so long. But she’s still got a long way to go and so many things can wrong before she becomes a top-20 player.

She’s not even close to that….She’s a complete tennis player, an updated and better version of Hingis. She already serves better. I haven’t seen anyone with this much potential before. Barty doesn’t have the power of Venus or Serena but she’s got intuition that you can’t really teach.”

However in 2015, the 5-foot-5 was suffering. Barty didn’t play well at all in singles, qualifying for a number of tournaments, but she was consistently losing in the first round. She ended the year ranked No. 186.

Barty doesn’t know if she will return in the WTA, but she’s not ruling it out. For now, she is happy playing cricket.

“I was still enjoying life. I had nothing to complain about,” she said. “(But) I wanted to make sure I was all in or there’s no point doing it. It is tough when you’re by yourself and I think that’s why team sport is so appealing. I’m still connected very much to tennis and everything it has to offer. It’s been a part of me since I was four years old and is never going to leave me.”

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.