“Has the Variety That No One Else Has” – Martina Navratilova Heaps Praise on Ashleigh Barty

Published 08/28/2021, 8:21 AM EDT
Aug 19, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) celebrates winning her match against Victoria Azarenka (BLR, not pictured) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


Ashleigh Barty is currently enjoying a rich vein of form. Since securing her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, the Australian won the Cincinnati Open to further cement her World No. 1 status. At the upcoming US Open, she is the top seed and a favorite to add another Grand Slam.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Over the years, her gameplay has garnered massive praise and admirers. One of those admirers is women’s tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who recently mentioned what makes Barty’s game exceptional.

Martina Navratilova mentions what makes Ashleigh Barty a difficult opponent

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During a career spanning a stunning 31 years, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam titles. Grass courts were the Czech-American’s specialty, with nine of her 18 Grand Slam titles coming from Wimbledon.

Like Navratilova in 1978, Barty won her maiden Grand Slam at Wimbledon earlier this year. And once again, she is the top seed and a favorite to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows, starting this week.

Aug 22, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) reacts to a shot during her match against Jil Teichmann (SUI not pictured) during the Western and Southern Open final at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the hard court Grand Slam, Navratilova mentioned how Barty’s powerful serve and clever stroke play puts her ahead of her competition. She said“You have to play a really good match to beat her, you have to think. Because she’s a thinker, right? She finds places on the court where most players don’t.

“She has the variety that no one else has, with the slice and the drive and running around. The powerful forehand, big serve. She’s leading the WTA in aces [with 297].”

“She moves so well, it’s hard to find openings against her. Just bashing won’t do it, because she can hang back and neutralize the big shot with her slice, brings you in, now you don’t have any court to work with, really.”

DIVE DEEPER

Ian Poulter Sends Wishes to His Golf Buddy Ashleigh Barty Ahead of US Open 2021

26 days ago

Barty to face Vera Zvonareva in the first round of the US Open

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The World No. 1 begins the quest for her maiden US Open title against former World No. 2 Vera Zvonareva. Their match will be the first meeting between them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although higher-ranked opponents await in further rounds, the Australian will look to make a statement on Tuesday, August 31.

WATCH STORY: Top Five Best Tennis Movies

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanket Nair

642 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT