“Bring Out the Best in Me”: Ashleigh Barty On How She Relishes Facing the Top Players

Published 08/20/2021, 2:14 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23: Ashleigh Barty of Australia speaks during media day prior to the the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 23, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)


The Wimbledon 2021 women’s singles champion Ashleigh Barty looks in fine form this year. After winning the grass court slam, she seems to be heading towards the title at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. In the quarterfinal, Barty overhauled Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. The Australian is now two wins away from yet another title.

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Who’s going to stop the Barty party?

Playing her first competitive tournament after an underwhelming Olympic Games, Barty has shown no signs of rust so far. She came racing off the blocks to claim wins over Heather Watson and Victoria Azarenka. In her toughest battle yet, the World No.1 battled Krejcikova in the last eight stage. Having won the Roland Garros title earlier this year, the 9th seed has been high on confidence ever since. But she was no match for the Australian.

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In a match that lasted just over an hour, Barty prevailed 6-2 6-4. Irrespective of how the tournament ends for her, she has been in great touch so far in the American city. After losing in the first round at Tokyo, the 2019 Roland Garros champion is back at her very best. Next up for the Aussie is either Petra Kvitova or Angelique Kerber. Either way, it is going to be an absolute killer of a contest.

‘Love that challenge’: Ashleigh Barty on facing the top players

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 8, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty waves after winning her semi final match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber REUTERS/Paul Childs

Basking in the joy of her victory, the World No.1 joined Prakash Amritraj for a post-match interview. Peaking at the right time, Barty has a 14-1 head-to-head record against the WTA’s top-20. And she opened up about the same, and how it motivates her. “A lot of those matches could’ve gone either way,” admitted the 2-time major winner. “Off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen at least where I was down late in the third set, or just a couple of points in it. But I think the best players in the world bring out the best in me.”

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Adding to the same, Barty also spoke about how she enjoys facing the best, before wishing Krejcikova the best of luck at New York“I love that challenge, I love putting myself late in tournaments where we get to clash and play each other. That’s where I enjoy tennis the most,” she said. “I think for both of us [herself and Barbora], we’ve obviously had a really successful Grand Slam calendar this year. Hopefully, we have one more to go for both of us.”

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World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will be one of the hot favorites heading into the final slam of the season. Can she turn her consistency into efficiency? Having been so good on the hard courts off late, she will be hoping to capture that elusive hard-court major at Flushing Meadows!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

240 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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