Ashleigh Barty Reveals Her Passion for Cricket, Says She Watches It More Than Tennis

Published 04/22/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Apr 3, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia holds the Butch Bucholz Trophy after her match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada (not pictured) in the women’s singles final in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Australian ace Ashleigh Barty became the 14th WTA year-end World No. 1 player in 2019. She went on to retain the same in 2020 and is still clearly ahead in 2021. However, what makes her more special than anybody else is that she also excelled in a sport outside tennis as well.

The now 24-year-old Australian had taken a break from tennis at the end of her 2014 season. During that time, she received an opportunity to play in the Australian women’s domestic T20 cricket competition, the Women’s Big Bash League. She played nine games for Brisbane Heat in the 2015-2016 season.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates winning match point during her Women’s Singles first round match against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Ashleigh Barty reveals her passion and love for cricket


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Recently, Ashleigh Barty came on the WTA’s One on One show with tennis legend Chris Evert. In the episode, she opened up on how she swiftly shifted from a tennis racquet to a cricket bat.


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Firstly, the reigning Miami Open champion revealed that she played backyard cricket as a kid. Moreover, she also expressed her gratitude to her Brisbane Heat teammates for helping her a great deal.

“It’s something I am super passionate about. I probably watch more cricket, more Australian rules, more Aussie games than I do tennis if I am being honest. Absolute sport, I love it,” Barty said.

After her revelation, one might assume that she might have chosen to play cricket over tennis. However, she mentioned that it was something that came her way during her break.

She said, “I didn’t stop playing tennis to go and play cricket. It was more than after about 12 months an opportunity came up, and I thought, ‘Why not? Give it a crack and see how we go’. It was really enjoyable; I loved it. I always wanted to challenge myself and to try new things and try different things.”

Interestingly, Ash also plays golf incredibly well.


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Where is Barty playing now?

Fortunately, the 2019 French Open champion decided to return to tennis in 2016. From then on, she has only improved and become one of the greatest players on the current women’s tour.


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Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates winning match point in her singles match against Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine during the Fed Cup tie between Australia and the Ukraine at the Canberra Tennis Centre on February 10, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

At present, Barty is safely seated in the quarterfinals at the WTA Stuttgart Open 2021. She will challenge the winner between Jelena Ostapenko and Karolina Pliskova for a semifinal seat in the tournament.

Hopefully, she will become formidable on clay by the time French Open arrives. Do you think Barty can win at Roland Garros again this year?


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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.