“I Don’t Like” – Chris Evert Hits Back at Fan for Ugly Portrayal of Ashleigh Barty

Published 05/29/2021, 6:14 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Tennis great Chris Evert rebuked a tennis fan on Twitter for his disrespectful portrayal of current women’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty.


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Apparently not amused by Barty’s take on Japanese rival Naomi Osaka’s decision to boycott all her engagements with the press during the French Open, the Twitter user by the name @DustyFyodor described the Australian as someone lacking “charisma” and “star quality.”

Twitter user had claimed Ashleigh Barty, unlike Naomi Osaka, lacks charisma


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Tagging Evert, the user posted, “It’s really interesting that Barty, who lacks any charisma or star quality whatsoever, or anyone else for that matter, would do anything to discourage one of the biggest draws in the game from playing. Isn’t this rather, well, insane? @ChrissieEvert”

To that, the 18-time Grand Slam champion responded with fury saying she won’t answer the question as she doesn’t agree with the unfair and irreverent portrayal of a top tennis player.

“I don’t like or agree with your portrayal of Ash Barty, so I refuse to answer your question. Show some respect…,” Evert replied.

Osaka had announced that she wouldn’t attend any press conferences before or after matches during the French Open, claiming that taking tough and uncomfortable questions affect her mental health, especially when matches don’t go her way.

Barty claimed she’s never been affected by press conferences

Sharing her thoughts on the issue, Barty said she was never too emotionally affected by what she got asked at press conferences.

She added that while sitting through press conferences could be “hard” at times, players know what they sign up for and learn to take the rough with the smooth.

“We know what we sign up for as professional tennis players. I can’t really comment on what Naomi is feeling or the decisions she makes. At times press conferences are hard of course but it’s also not something that bothers me,” Barty said.

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Tennis -WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 12, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka looks dejected after losing her second round match against Jessica Pegula of U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

She added that she doesn’t play sleepless nights thinking about what went down at press conferences.


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“It certainly doesn’t keep me up at night what I say or hear or what you guys ask me,” Barty told reporters.


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President of French Tennis Federation Gilles Motetton has also voiced his anguish over Osaka‘s decision, saying that it sets the wrong precedent in the game.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

979 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.