Multi-talented Barty On A Mission, With A Smile

Multi-talented Barty on a mission, with a smile

Melbourne, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Jan, 2022 ) :Multi-talented Ashleigh Barty has been a professiona cricketer, won a golf tournament and collected two tennis Grand Slam titles, with a third beckoning at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Few athletes can boost such a varied sporting resume, but the down-to-earth Australian has taken it in her stride.

Widely seen as one of the nicest players on tour, the 25-year-old began playing tennis as a child in the Queensland state capital Brisbane.

But it was a trip to the Australian Open for a training camp when she was "11 or 12" that proved to be the spark that drove her to where she is today.

"To see how professional it was and to see everyone going about their business was really eye-opening. My first taste of it was in the juniors and I loved it," she said this week.

"I think being able to get a taste of that kind of lit the flame. You wonder what you can achieve. You wonder what you can do." The Australian went on to win the junior Wimbledon title as a 15-year-old in 2011.

But the expectations that came with success took their toll and she made a shock decision three years later to ditch tennis for cricket, signing for Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League.

"In short, I think I needed just to find myself," Barty said when reflecting on that time of her life.

"I felt like I got twisted and maybe a little bit lost along the way in the first part of my career." While cricket gave her "a different perspective about sport", the lure of tennis was never far away and driven by an ambition to taste success again at Wimbledon she returned after a season away.

The break worked wonders and she went from strength-to-strength.

Barty broke through for her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the French Open in 2019, became Australia's first women's world number one since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley and finally won a cherished Wimbledon crown last year.

So dominant has she been that she ended 2021 as the top-ranked player for a third consecutive year, joining Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Chris Evert as the only women to achieve the feat.