Barty itching to get started at Australian Open
SYDNEY (Reuters) – World number one Ash Barty is itching to get back to competitive tennis at the Australian Open but has poured cold water on the idea that she might be set to end the 43-year wait for a homegrown women’s champion.
Barty reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time last year before sitting out most of the rest of the season at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 24-year-old remains Australia’s best hope of singles success when the year’s first Grand Slam starts on Feb. 8 but Barty urged her compatriots not to get their hopes up.
“They can think whatever they like. If they expect me to win the tournament, then that’s their expectations,” Barty told the Australian Associated Press on Saturday.
“But mine certainly aren’t that for now. It’s about doing the right things right from the start, from the very first match. If it’s good enough, it is. And if it’s not, it’s not. But that’s OK.”
Barty last played a tournament match at the Qatar Open last February, deciding to remain at home in the relative safety of Queensland rather than travel to New York for the U.S. Open or to Paris for her French Open title defence.
“Obviously I haven’t played competition tennis for a year now so it’s going to be a challenge but we also know that hopefully again it will be a long season and we don’t have to panic if we don’t get the perfect start,” she added.
“We’ll just try and go out there and do the best that we can and whatever happens will happen. I feel ready to go and I’m just itching to get started.”
Barty did not need to quarantine before the Australian Open and will play an exhibition event in Adelaide on Friday before returning to Melbourne for the Grand Slam.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by William Mallard)
More Top Stories
U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected in February, suggesting the labor market was struggling to regain speed despite the an nation’s improving public …read more
Parler LLC has dropped its case against Amazon.com Inc for cutting off web-hosting services for the social media firm, according to court documents from late …read more
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Wednesday, with fellow Democrats seeking to advance key …read more
The U.S. state of Michigan on Tuesday announced a loosening of its coronavirus restrictions, allowing larger gatherings and easing limits on capacity for restaurants and …read more
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the most sweeping rollback of coronavirus restrictions of any U.S. state on Tuesday, lifting a mask mandate and saying most …read more
“That’s almost the population of California…and more than doubles legal immigration”read more