Comeback on track for Ash Barty05/03/2017
Former Wimbledon junior champ Ash Barty is having another crack at professional tennis after spending a season playing cricket for the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League, and it’s so far so good.
The 20-year-old has made a terrific comeback, winning her first ever singles matches at the Australian Open in January, making it through to the third round and now she’s won her first ever WTA singles title, defeating Japan’s Nao Hibino 6-3 6-2 to claim the Malaysian Open. The win catapults her into the top 100 for the first time, with a ranking of 92 in the world. Ash backed up her win in the singles with the doubles title as well, teaming up with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua to win the doubles final. The good news is that as she continues to refine her game with new coach Craig Tyzzer, she’s only going to get even better.
Ash quit tennis in 2014 after struggling with the demands and isolation of the women’s pro tour.
She reached a career ranking of 129 in 2013 as a 17-year-old and was seen as a future No.1 of Australian women’s tennis. In 2013 she made the grand slam doubles finals of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open playing with Casey Dellacqua.
Her cricket debut for the Brisbane Heat was impressive, scoring 39 and she was the leading run scorer in women’s club cricket in Brisbane. But her passion for tennis burns strong and she has returned as a 20-year-old, more mature, refreshed and excited – giving it another red hot go.