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Ashleigh Barty

tennis player

Nickname: Ash
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Bio Barty began playing tennis at the age of four in nearby Brisbane. She had a promising junior career, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world after winning the girls' singles title at Wimbledon in 2011. As a teenager, Barty had early success in doubles on the WTA Tour in 2013, finishing runner-up at three Grand Slam doubles events with veteran Casey Dellacqua, including at the Australian Open while still only 16 years old. Late in the 2014 season, Barty decided to take an indefinite break from tennis. She ended up playing cricket during this hiatus, signing with the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women's Big Bash League despite having no formal training in the sport.
Barty returned to tennis in early 2016 shortly before turning 20 years old. Although she won her first tournament back on the ITF circuit, her year was ultimately marred by an arm injury. In 2017, Barty had a breakout year in singles, winning her first WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rising to No. 17 in the world despite having never been ranked inside the top 100 before her time off. She also had another prolific year in doubles with Dellacqua, culminating in her first appearance at the WTA Finals. She then won her first Premier Mandatory and Grand Slam tournament titles in doubles in 2018 before accomplishing the same feat in singles in 2019.
Barty is an all-court player who employs a wide variety of shots into her style of play. Despite her short stature, she is an excellent server, regularly ranking among the WTA Tour's leaders in aces and percentage of service points won. Barty is of Indigenous heritage and serves as the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia.
Barty started working with her longtime junior coach Jim Joyce at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre at the age of four. Former tennis professional Scott Draper later joined Barty's coaching team and worked with her at the National Academy. When she was 15 years old, former top 20 player Jason Stoltenberg took over as her primary coach. Barty's junior schedule took her to Europe and away from her family in Australia for much of the year. The season she turned 17, she was only home for 27 days during the entire calendar year.
Barty reached a career-high ITF world junior ranking of No. 2, hang excelled at both singles and doubles. She started playing low-level events on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2009 at the age of 13 and won her first title at the Grade 4 Australian International before turning 14. Barty continued to only play in tournaments below the higher tiers until the end of 2010, but compiled a record of 24–2 in her five events that season while also capturing a Grade 2 title in Thailand. She played her first junior Grand Slam event in 2011 at the Australian Open, where she lost her opening match to third seed Lauren Davis. However, she bounced back from this defeat in the coming months by winning both the singles and doubles events at two high-level Grade 1 events, the Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup in Malaysia in March and the Belgian International Junior Championships in May.
After a second round loss at the 2011 French Open, Barty won her only junior Grand Slam title at Wimbledon at the age of 15. She became just the second Australian to win the girls' singles event after Debbie Freeman in 1980, and the first Australian girl to win any junior Grand Slam singles title since Jelena Dokic at the 1998 US Open. Compatriot Luke Saville also won the boys' title to help Australia sweep both singles events. The only set she dropped in the tournament was to Madison Keys in the third round, and her victory in the final was against third seed Irina Khromacheva. In the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, Barty produced another strong singles result, losing to top seed Caroline Garcia in the semifinals of the US Open. Barty also won two more Grade 1 titles in doubles that season, one at Roehampton the week before Wimbledon and the other at the Canadian Open the week before the US Open. She concluded the season by winning the Junior Fed Cup for Australia with teammate Belinda Woolcock. Barty only played in one junior tournament the following year, where she finished runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Torneo International in Italy.
Barty started her professional career in April 2010 just after turning 14 at an International Tennis Federation (ITF) $25K event in her hometown of Ipswich. She lost her first match to Karolina Wlodarczak. Barty played in one more main draw that year in Mount Gambier, where she reached the semifinals in just her second professional tournament. Her first pro match win came against Ayu Fani Damayanti. In 2011, she entered three more $25K events in Australia, with her best results being two quarterfinals. Following her girls' singles title at Wimbledon, Tennis Australia awarded Barty a wildcard into qualifying at the US Open. In her first WTA Tour-level appearance, she was unable to qualify for the main draw, losing her opening round match to Julia Glushko. Barty closed out the year by competing in a playoff for one of the Australian wildcard berths into the main draw of the 2012 Australian Open. Despite being the youngest player in the competition, she won all five of her matches without dropping a set to earn the wildcard. She swept her round-robin group featuring world No. 133 Casey Dellacqua before defeating No. 239 Arina Rodionova and No. 167 Olivia Rogowska in the knockout stage.
Barty made her singles and doubles main draw debuts on the WTA Tour in early 2012. Her doubles debut came at the Brisbane International, the first event of the year. After losing in singles qualifying, she partnered with Dellacqua to make the semifinals in doubles while still just 15 years old. Their tournament was highlighted by an upset of the top seeded team of Natalie Grandin and Vladimíra Uhlířová, both of whom were in the top 25 of the WTA doubles rankings. The following week, Barty made her singles debut as a wildcard at the Hobart International, losing her opening round match to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. She then made her Grand Slam main draw debut the very next week at the Australian Open, where she lost her first round match to Anna Tatishvili. Later in the year, Barty also received wildcards into the main draws of the French Open and Wimbledon, but lost her opening round matches to Petra Kvitová and Roberta Vinci respectively, both of whom were seeded.
Besides her first WTA main draw appearances, Barty also had a breakout year on the ITF Women's Circuit. She compiled a singles record of 34–4 in nine tournaments to accompany a doubles record of 25–5 while frequently partnering with compatriot Sally Peers. She won four ITF titles in both singles and doubles. In particular, her first two singles titles came in back-to-back weeks in February in Sydney and Mildura. She also won both the singles and doubles events at the Nottingham Challenge, a mid-level $50K grass court event in the lead-up to Wimbledon. Barty ended the season with a doubles title at the $75K event on carpet in Japan, where she partnered with Dellacqua for the second time for her biggest title of the year. Her quarterfinal appearance in singles at the same tournament helped her rise to No. 177 in the WTA singles rankings, having first cracked the top 200 of the WTA singles rankings a few weeks earlier at the age of 16. She also finished the year ranked No. 129 in doubles.
In 2013, Barty began playing primarily at the WTA Tour level. She only played in eight singles main draws in total after losing in qualifying at five tournaments. Although she stayed outside the top 100 in singles throughout the year, she established herself as one of the world's elite double players despite not turning 17 until the middle of the season.
Barty was awarded another wild card into the 2013 Australian Open singles main draw, but lost her opening match. Towards the end of February, she won her first two WTA Tour-level matches at the Malaysian Open against Chanel Simmonds and Zarina Diyas before her run ended in the quarterfinals. Barty's only other two tour-level singles wins of 2013 came at Grand Slam tournaments. She was awarded main draw wildcards into the French Open and US Open, where she won her first round matches at both events.
Barty began the 2014 season by qualifying for the Brisbane International. She won her opening round match against No. 33 Daniela Hantuchová before withdrawing from the tournament due to a left adductor injury. This transpired to be her only singles main draw win of the year at any level. She played in three Grand Slam main draws, including at the US Open where she had to qualify, but lost all of her first round matches.
In doubles, Barty partnered with Dellacqua in eight WTA Tour-level events during the 2013 season, including all four Grand Slam tournaments. The pair finished runner-up in three out of four such events, only failing to reach the final at the French Open where they lost in the first round. At the age of 16, Barty's Australian Open finals appearance made her the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Tatiana Golovin won the mixed doubles title at the 2004 French Open at the same age. As a team, Barty and Dellacqua became the first Australian duo to reach an Australian Open women's doubles final since Evonne Goolagong and Helen Gourlay in 1977. This success also helped Barty advance nearly 100 spots in the world rankings to No. 46. At Wimbledon and the US Open, Barty and Dellacqua defeated three of the top ten seeds at both events, including the No. 2 seeds in each case. The closest they came to winning a major title was at the Australian Open and the US Open, where they were up a break with a set in hand in both finals.
Barty and Dellacqua did win one title together at the Birmingham Classic, where they defeated Cara Black and Marina Erakovic in the final. Without Dellacqua as her partner, Barty had also made two more tour-level semifinals earlier in the year, including at the Premier-level Charleston Open with Anastasia Rodionova. She finished the season as the world No. 12 in the doubles rankings.
Despite her struggles in singles in 2014, Barty had another good year in doubles with Dellacqua as her regular partner. The pair won their second title together at the Internationaux de Strasbourg during the clay season. While they did not repeat their success at the Grand Slam tournaments from the previous year, they still managed to reach the quarterfinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon. They also were unable to defend their title at the Birmingham Classic, but made it to the final for the second consecutive year.
After the 2014 US Open, Barty announced she was "[taking] a break from professional tennis." She later said that she took time off from tennis because "it was too much too quickly for me as I've been traveling from quite a young age... I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences." Barty was ranked outside of the top 200 in singles and was No. 40 in doubles at the time.
Barty announced her return to professional tennis in February 2016 a few weeks after the end of the WBBL season. At this point, she began working with Craig Tyzzer as her coach. Barty initially only competed in doubles events on the ITF circuit at the low-level $25K tier. In her first two months, she played five tournaments and won three of them, including her first one back where she partnered with Jessica Moore and two in back-to-back weeks in Canberra.
Barty returned to singles in late May. She qualified for the Eastbourne Trophy, a mid-level ITF $50K event, where she made it to the semifinals in both singles and doubles. The following week, Barty returned to the WTA Tour, where she qualified for the Nottingham Open. She made it to the quarterfinals, losing to top seed Karolína Plíšková in a close match. She was happy with her performance, saying, "It's nice to know that straight off the bat I can come in and compete with the best in the world." Barty also received a wildcard into qualifying at Wimbledon, but did not reach the main draw. After a bone stress injury in her arm, she only played in one more event that year, the 125K Taipei Challenger in November.
In 2017, Barty reunited with Dellacqua as her regular doubles partner. Starting the year outside the top 250 in both singles and doubles and never having been ranked in the top 100 in singles, she finished the year inside the top 20 in both rankings.
Near the start of the year, Barty picked up her first career wins at the Australian Open, reaching the third round. Barty's next tournament was the Malaysian Open where she had won her first WTA singles match four years earlier. She entered the singles main draw as a qualifier and won both the singles and doubles events. This was her first career WTA singles title and helped her enter the top 100 for the first time. Barty continued to climb in the rankings after a quarterfinal at the Internationaux de Strasbourg on clay where she lost to compatriot Daria Gavrilova and a runner-up at the Birmingham Classic on grass, her best result at a Premier tournament.
During the US Open series in August, Barty reached back-to-back Premier 5 rounds of 16 at the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open, despite needing to qualify for both events. At Cincinnati, she also defeated world No. 9 Venus Williams for her first career top ten victory. After losing to top 15 players Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina in the opening rounds of the French Open and Wimbledon respectively, Barty took advantage of a slightly better draw at the US Open. She defeated No. 23 Ana Konjuh in her first match en route to reaching the third round, where she lost to the eventual champion Sloane Stephens. This performance brought her to No. 37 in the WTA rankings.
Later in September, Barty produced her best result of the season by reaching a Premier 5 final at the Wuhan Open. During the tournament, she defeated three top ten players in No. 7 Johanna Konta, No. 4 Karolína Plíšková, and No. 10 Jeļena Ostapenko. She lost the final to Caroline Garcia in three sets, despite having two chances to serve for the match. Nonetheless, she rose to No. 23 in the world, setting her up both to become the top-ranked Australian a few weeks later and to qualify for the WTA Elite Trophy at the end of the season. At that event, Barty advanced out of her round robin group by winning both of her matches, the first against No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the second against No. 19 Angelique Kerber. She was eliminated from the tournament by CoCo Vandeweghe. Barty finished the season at a career-high ranking of No. 17 in the world.
Barty and Dellacqua reached the quarterfials or better at three out of four Grand Slam tournaments during the 2017 season. In particular, they made it to the finals at the French Open to become the first Australian women's doubles team to reach all four Grand Slam finals. They lost the final to the top seeded team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Šafářová who had also won the previous two majors. Barty and Dellacqua contested six finals on the year in total, winning half of them.They won the Birmingham Classic, where Barty also made it to the final in singles. This was their second career title at the event after winning it in 2013, and also their first Premier title together.
Barty and Dellacqua finished the year as the third-highest ranked doubles team, earning them a spot in the WTA Finals. They had narrowly missed qualifying for the event in 2013 when they were the fifth-ranked team and only the top four were accepted instead of eight. In their debut, the duo were upset in the first round by the lowest-seeded team of Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson. Individually, Barty also established a new career-high doubles world ranking of No. 11 towards end of the season.
Barty had a strong start to the 2018 season, reaching the final of the Sydney International in her second tournament of the year. She entered the Australian Open seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time at No. 18, but was upset in the third round by Naomi Osaka. Barty's best result during the clay court season was at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she was the top seed at a WTA Tour singles event for the first time. She reached her first WTA-level clay court semifinal, but had to retire due to a back injury. The following week at the French Open, Barty had another tough draw at a Grand Slam event and was defeated by Serena Williams in the second round, despite winning the first set.
Back on her favourite surface, Barty won the Nottingham Open on grass for her second career WTA title. She defeated home favourite and British No. 1 Johanna Konta in the final. She then recorded her first match wins at Wimbledon and reached the third round, matching her best result at a Grand Slam tournament. At the start of the summer hard court season, Barty did well at the Premier 5 hard court tournaments, making it to the semifinals at the Canadian Open and the third round at the Cincinnati Open. She lost to world No. 1 Simona Halep at both events. At the US Open, Barty was the 18th seed and reached the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, where she was defeated by No. 8 Karolína Plíšková.
Towards the end of the season, Barty attempted to defend her previous year's finals appearance at the Wuhan Open. Although she was the only seeded player to make the semifinals, she fell one match short against Aryna Sabalenka. Having maintained her top 20 ranking, she was able to qualify for the year-end WTA Elite Trophy for the second straight season. Barty was grouped with Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia and began play by losing to Sabalenka again, while winning eight games. She then defeated Garcia in straights sets while only conceding seven games, meaning she could only advance if Garcia defeated Sabalenka in straight sets while losing at least eight games. Garcia won the group's final match while dropping precisely eight games to send Barty into the knockout rounds. Barty then defeated defending champion Julia Goerges and home favourite Wang Qiang to win the biggest title of her career and end the season at a career-high ranking of No. 15 in the world.
Barty and Dellacqua reached the third round at the Australian Open. This was their last WTA tournament together before Dellacqua's retirement. Barty partnered with American CoCo Vandeweghe in her next three doubles events, and the pair had their best success in the United States where they won the Miami Open, Barty's first Premier Mandatory title. Although Barty continued to play primarily with Vandeweghe during the rest of the season, she also played two Premier 5 tournaments with Demi Schuurs after her usual partner Elise Mertens withdrew from the Italian Open. Barty and Schuurs won both of their tournaments together, the Italian Open and the Canadian Open. The first also helped Barty climb to a career-best WTA doubles world ranking of No. 5.
Later in the season, Barty reunited with Vandeweghe and won her first career Grand Slam title at the US Open. In the semifinals, the pair defeated the top seeded team of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková, who were the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champions. In the final, they defeated the second seeded team of Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, who were the reigning Australian Open champions. Barty and Vandeweghe lost the first set and were down two championship points in the second set before coming from behind to win the last two sets in two tiebreaks, saving a third championship point in the final tiebreak. This was the first time ever that a Grand Slam women's doubles final came down to a third-set tiebreak.
Even though Barty and Vandeweghe only played seven tournaments together, their two big titles were enough for them to qualify as the eighth and last seed into the WTA Finals. They upset Barty's other doubles partner Schuurs, who was back with Mertens, in the first round. Their tournament was ended by Babos and Mladenovic in the semifinals in a rematch of the US Open final.
In 2019, for the second consecutive year, Barty began the season with a runner-up finish at the Sydney International, this time losing to Petra Kvitová. During the event, she defeated three top 15 players, including Simona Halep for her first career victory over a current world No. 1 player. At her next tournament, Barty made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open, defeating Maria Sharapova before again losing to Kvitová. She became the first Australian to make the quarterfinals at the event since Jelena Dokic in 2009. After a fourth round appearance at the Indian Wells Open,Barty won the Miami Open for her first Premier Mandatory title. She defeated three top 10 players in the event, including No. 2 Kvitová in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Karolína Plíšková in the final. With this result, she also made her top 10 debut.
In the lead-up to the French Open, Barty played only two clay court events. Her best result was a quarterfinal at the Madrid Open, where she lost to No. 3 Halep. She closed out the clay court season by winning her first Grand Slam singles title at the French Open. As the eighth seed, she defeated world No. 38 Markéta Vondroušová in the final, dropping just four games. She only lost two sets during the tournament, one to Sofia Kenin in the fourth round and the other to Amanda Anisimova in the semifinals. In particular, she needed to come from a set and a break down against Anisimova, after holding a 5–0 lead in the first set, to advance. With the title, Barty became the first Australian to win the French Open in singles since Margaret Court in 1973. She also rose to No. 2 in the world. Barty then followed up this title with another at her next event, the Birmingham Classic, to become the No. 1 ranked player in the world. She is the second Australian to be No. 1 in the WTA singles rankings after Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Barty's win streak came to an end at 15 matches when she was defeated at Wimbledon by Alison Riske in the fourth round, her best result at Wimbledon to date. Barty lost the No. 1 ranking to Naomi Osaka in early August after an opening round loss at the Canadian Open. The following week, she fared better at the Cincinnati Open, falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals. At the US Open, she was upset in the fourth round for the second time in a row at a Grand Slam tournament, this time to Wang Qiang. Nonetheless, she regained the No. 1 ranking. As the world No. 1 again, she rebounded during the Asian hard court season. She reached another semifinal at the Wuhan Open followed by a runner-up finish to No. 4 Osaka at the China Open. During the latter tournament, she defeated two top ten players in No. 7 Kvitová and No. 8 Kiki Bertens. At the end of the season, Barty made her singles debut at the WTA Finals as the top seed. After defeating Belinda Bencic and losing to Bertens, Barty defeated Kvitová to advance out of her group. In the knockout round, she defeated Karolina Plíšková and Elina Svitolina, the latter of which for the first time in six attempts, to win the tour finals. With the title, she won $4.42 million, the largest amount of prize money at a single men's or women's tournament in tennis history to date. Barty finished the season as the year-end world No. 1.
With CoCo Vandeweghe injured, Barty began to regularly partner with Victoria Azarenka. The pair reached the semifinals at the Miami Open and won their first title together at the Italian Open, a Premier 5 event. They defeated the top seeded team of Krejčíková and Siniaková in both tournaments. During the summer, they reached another Premier 5 semifinal at the Canadian Open, this time losing to Krejčíková and Siniaková who were again the top seeds. Barty came close to defending her title at the US Open. In the quarterfinals, she and Azarenka defeated top seeds Babos and Mladenovic, Barty's opponents in the 2018 final. They made the final, but lost in straight sets to Elise Mertens and Sabalenka. Although they only played eight tournaments during the season, they nearly qualified for the WTA Finals, falling one spot short in ninth place.

Barty has an all-court game and a crafty style of play. Her favourite surface is grass, despite initially not liking that surface because she had limited experience playing on it while growing up. Barty has also performed well on hard courts, where she won her first WTA singles title and reached her first Premier 5 level final. She has won both singles and doubles titles on all three major surfaces.
Barty's short stature and diverse array of shots have led her to be compared to former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis by David Taylor, one of Hingis' former coaches. She has solid groundstrokes on both the forehand and backhand sides. In particular, she uses her powerful forehand to create sharp angles on cross-court shots. Her kick serve and backhand slice are also two of her better shots. Barty's doubles game translates well to singles, as she frequently comes to the net and excels at volleying. She uses her variety of shots to trouble her opponents. Despite her height, Barty is an excellent server. She finished the 2018 season at fourth on the WTA Tour in aces with a total of 297, nearly five per match. She was also second in percentage of service points won that year among players with at least ten matches, behind only Serena Williams.
Thanasi Kokkinakis, one of her compatriot contemporaries as well as one of her mixed doubles partners, has described her game as, "Ash plays different to most girls. She likes to come into the net, she uses her slice very well and she’s crafty. Whereas a lot of girls like to hit the ball hard and flat, she plays a little bit differently, she plays with a bit more control... and she makes things awkward for her opponent."
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