Andy Murray Recalls When Ashleigh Barty Turned Him Down and Details Why She’s “Worthy No.1”

Published 08/21/2021, 12:04 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty poses as she celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Jed Leicester


In the women’s circuit at present, there is one name that stands out. Australia’s Ashleigh Barty has taken the world of tennis by storm. For a long time, Barty was one of those players whom everyone liked but never thought would win a major. Since 2019 however, the Aussie has proved that she can do it even on the biggest stages of them all. Her magnificent efforts have earned her praises all around the world, with the latest being former World No.1 Andy Murray.

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The 2-time Olympic gold medalist ‘loves’ watching Barty in action

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 26, 2021 Britain’s Andy Murray during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Florian Eisele

Andy Murray is a veteran of the sport. He has one of the most intelligent tennis minds, and can differentiate the good from the great. Over the years, the British legend has taken inspiration from many players whom he believes to be great. In a recent interview, Murray was asked to compliment a player whose game he fancies at the moment. The London and Rio Olympics winner had no hesitation to laud the WTA World No.1.

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“My compliment is for Ash Barty,” denoted the 3-time Grand Slam champion. “I just love watching Ash Barty play tennis. She has loads of variety, she’s got a very exciting brand of tennis. I think she’s a very nice person as well, which matters; even though she turned me down for mixed doubles at Wimbledon [laughs]. But yeah I love watching Ash play, and she’s a worthy World No.1!” Back in 2019, Barty, who wanted to focus on the singles, sadly had to turn down what would’ve been a dream mixed doubles pairing.

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What’s next for Ashleigh Barty?

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Currently, the Wimbledon 2021 champion is busy part-taking in the Cincinnati Open 2021. She has reached the semifinal stage, where she is due to face Angelique Kerber. The former professional cricketer will be hoping to capture the title in Cincinnati before the US Open. It is not yet confirmed whether Barty will participate in another tournament before heading to New York.

Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) acknowledges the crowd after defeating Heather Watson (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, the Australian is slated to head directly for the US Open 2021 after the Western and Southern Open. She will compete at Flushing Meadows this year, having opted out of the tournament in 2020. In 2019, Barty was knocked out in the Round of 16 by Wang Qiang of China in straight sets. Thus, she will be hoping for a much-improved outing this time around.

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Despite being consistent on the hard courts, Ashleigh Barty has not yet been able to convert it into a Grand Slam. Can the sacred Arthur Ashe stadium prove to be her lucky charm? Let us wait and watch to see if the top seed can live up to her bidding.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

245 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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