“Don’t Think Any Other Player is Close”: Former Top-10 Player Edges Ashleigh Barty Over Naomi Osaka at US Open 2021

Published 08/27/2021, 5:50 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


The US Open 2021 is less than a week away now and fans are ready to witness the last Grand Slam of the year. On the women’s side, all the eyes will be on Ashleigh Barty who will begin as the top-seeded player and Naomi Osaka who is the defending champion there.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In an exclusive interview to the Herald and The Age, former World No.8 Alicia Molik hailed Ashleigh Barty. She emphasised that the 2-time Grand Slam winner is a completely different player now and knows how to deal with pressure.

“In a sense of not just what she’s accomplished but the ability to prove she can play at that level at the highest level now. She’s a completely different player in terms of her belief in herself and the tennis she knows she can produce under pressure and adversity,” said Molik in the interview.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Ashleigh Barty (AUS) returns 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

The former Australian player also made some bold predictions about Barty and claimed that she will have her best results at the US Open 2021. Surprisingly, the World No.1 player has not been able to reach even the quarters of the Grand Slam in her career so far. However, Molik believes that this will change at the end of the upcoming major.

“I think she will have her best result at this US Open, and she’s really geared up for it, too. She showed at Cincinnati, right? Not dropping a set and winning the event. That’s a huge boost,” added the 40-year-old.

Watch This Story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

“Don’t think any other player is close to her form”- Alicia Molik on Ashleigh Barty

Molik further mentioned that according to her, no other player is even close to Barty’s form at the moment. Even though she remarked that Aryna Sabalenka and Angelique Kerber have also been playing some great tennis this year, she reiterated that Barty has been simply outstanding.

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

“I don’t think any other player is close to her form. Maybe you can throw Sabalenka in there, she’s been playing some great tennis. Kerber has been a bit of a surprise card but Ash is a real standout,” concluded Molik.

Ashleigh Barty has already won five titles in the 2021 tennis season including a Grand Slam. Fans have huge expectations from her and want her to keep playing like this. Will she be able to lift her third major in New York this year?

DIVE DEEPER

US Open 2021 Women’s Draw: Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka Handed Tough Route With Action Packed Field

26 days ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Anshul Singh

1289 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT