Barty Changes Mind And Returns To Tennis

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Ash Barty Tennis News

Ashleigh Barty, the Wimbledon girls champion who was heralded as the future of Australian women’s tennis and then turned her back on the sport 17 months ago because she felt too pressurized by the individual aspects of competition, has had a change of heart.

After spending the Australian summer playing a season of Women’s Big Bash League cricket for her hometown team Brisbane Heat, Barty has announced she will return to tennis and could be back on a competitive court within a week at an ITF $25,000 tournament in Perth where she will play doubles alongside fellow Australian Jessica Moore.

Talking to the WTA website, Barty said: “I was very young, but I turn 20 this year and it’s a different perspective on life and tennis in general. If it works, then great. If it doesn’t, I can’t really complain. I’ve had a phenomenal career for the short time that I did play.”

In 2013 Barty, then only 17 years of age, reached doubles finals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, made her mark by winning a rubber in Fed Cup and reached a career-high world singles ranking of 129.

Then she revealed a dislike for the individuality of tennis and expressed a desire to play a team sport, such as cricket.

“It was obviously phenomenal, but it all happened a little bit too quickly,” said the Queenslander who won her junior title at Wimbledon in 2011, aged just 15.  “I went from not being known anywhere in the world to winning junior Wimbledon and six months later playing the Australian Open. I was a victim of my own success, really.”

Barty visited the recent Australian Open with the sole intention of merely being a spectator but she ended up hitting a few balls with former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua who missed the tournament because she was still recovering from concussion suffered late last year.

“I realized after hitting a few times it was just what I’m probably meant to be doing in life, ‘ she admitted. “After I hit a few times throughout the time away, I hit the ball ok each time.”

Barty is insistent she does not require a helping hand from either the WTA or Tennis Australia and intends to re-attain her stature in tennis under her own steam without the help of any wild card entries into tournaments or special favors.

“I’m just prepared to work up that slow grind up the ITFs and hopefully be up with the WTA soon,” she said. “I‘m prepared to commit myself fully to getting back into tennis. That’s the only way to do it, and that’s why I’m taking it slowly in the beginning.

“There’s no point in jumping back on tour and realizing six months later that this is not what I want. This gives me the opportunity to work my way into it”.

Meanwhile women’s cricket is not letting Barty go without a fight. “We’ve spoken about it and we’ve left the door open,” said Andy Richards, coach of the Brisbane Heat women’s cricket team who believes international honors for Australia are within the youngster’s reach.

“With another 12 months in the game, she wasn’t going to be far away. She’s currently our leading run-scorer in club cricket in Brisbane. I think she could definitely play both.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.