“Best Player”: Chris Evert Speaks Highly of Ashleigh Barty Ahead of Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 04/30/2021, 4:32 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty reacts during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat


The men’s side has seen Rafael Nadal as the greatest clay-court player of all time. But long before Nadal’s reign started, a certain Chris Evert was setting records and left a huge legacy behind her. And now, according to the veteran, the current World No. 1, Ashleigh Barty is the best clay-court player at the moment.

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In her tweet, Evert seemed thrilled with Barty’s clay-court prowess. Thus, she can’t look past the Australian in the ongoing clay-court season. Ash Barty finds herself as the number one seed in a stacked Mutua Madrid Open 2021 draw, and Evert wished the best for her.

Ashleigh Barty in action during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

“The best player on clay so far has been @ashbarty. Watching her in Madrid with her shoulder taped up and a tough field/ week ahead of her… Hoping she paces herself well before @rolandgarros,” Evert wrote on Twitter.

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Ashleigh Barty in 2021 and Chris Evert’s legacy

Ash Barty has looked solid in the short clay-court season of 2021. She recently won in Stuttgart and is in strong contention for the Madrid Open title. But Barty still has a relatively smaller career than the likes of Simona Halep and Serena Williams. Halep and Serena have done well on clay with numerous titles, and the next big thing on clay might eventually become Ash Barty.

Ashleigh Barty receives a bouquet of flowers for her birthday after winning her semi final match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

Barty has been silently making the headlines in 2021 just like she did in 2019, where she surprised everyone with her French Open triumph. Hence, the judgment from Chris Evert has to be taken seriously given her legacy on clay.

Evert holds an astonishing career win percentage of almost 90 percent. Her win percentage on clay is 94.55, the best in history, men’s and women’s combined. That win percentage is even greater than Rafael Nadal‘s win percentage on clay.

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Furthermore, Evert had a 125 match win streak on clay between 1973 and 1979. In this period, she lost a grand total of just eight sets. Evert was one of her kind and emulating her success would be very difficult for anyone.

Barty has stamped strong authority over the past few months. She has reminded fans why she is the World No. 1 and how she is very well equipped to win the French Open again this year. As the clay court season matures, Barty seems an obvious choice for whichever tournament she plays.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Very Receptive”: Ashleigh Barty Wary of Changing Surface At Madrid Open 2021

8 days ago

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Bhavishya Mittal

947 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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