“A New Challenge”: Ashleigh Barty Looks Ahead to European Clay Court Leg After Charleston Exit

Published 04/10/2021, 2:54 PM EDT
Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Kristina Kucova of Slovakia (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


After the high of Miami came the low at Charleston for women’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty. The 24-year-old Australian fell to a chastening 4-6, 3-6 defeat to Spaniard Paula Badosa Gibert in the quarter-final of the ongoing event, which signaled the start of the women’s clay court swing.

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The defeat will have served as a timely wake-up call for the 2019 French Open champion as she prepares for Roland-Garros this year.

Ashleigh Barty says she’s feeling excited to be switching to red clay on the European leg of women’s clay court season

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Speaking to EssentiallySports after finishing on the losing side of the last-eight clash, Barty looked ahead to her future challenges on the European leg of the clay court season.

Asked if she had set herself any targets or goals going into her upcoming battles on red clay at Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome, the Aussie said it will be a different challenge playing in the European leg.

She added that playing on the red clay will pose a different set of challenges than competing on the green ones laid out in Charleston as no two surfaces, even on red soil, are similar.

Mar 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia waves to the crowd after her match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Barty added that while it will take some time to adjust to the red clay, it’s a challenge she is excited to embrace.

“It obviously will take some time to get used to (the) conditions there and it’s a new challenge. It’s an exciting one and, and obviously in Madrid and Rome, they (surfaces) can be vastly different,” the Aussie said.

Ashleigh Barty she’d like to test herself in different match situations ahead of the French Open

Barty added that she is eagerly looking forward to playing on red soil and getting a good grip of the surface closer to the French Open.

The World No.1 said though the dirt beds at Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome will be nothing like Charleston, “they’ll be more similar, week to week”.

She added that with matches under her belt on the red soil, she will also be able to test herself in different situations and try to come out of them.

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“I think the more match simulation and kind of match pressures and match conditions that you can get on red clay becomes invaluable in those tight moments. So I think we just try and play as much as we can,” Barty said.

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Ash Barty Returns to Playing Cricket Before Australian Open 2021

6 months ago

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The WTA Stuttgart event will kick off on April 17 and end on April 25.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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