A Relaxed Ash Barty Is Still No. 1

In a yr when psychological well being has usually been a headline in sports activities, it’s becoming that Ash Barty of Australia is the No. 1 ladies’s participant on the earth. Barty had the self-awareness to stroll away from tennis for greater than a yr in 2014 to hunt a extra regular existence (although she also took up professional cricket).

In 2019, when she stumbled at Wimbledon, shedding within the fourth spherical, she took just a few weeks to return dwelling and rejuvenate. And after staying off the tour for practically a yr in the course of the pandemic, she has received 4 titles this yr, together with Wimbledon.

Barty mentioned her method to tennis and life as she ready for the United States Open. The following interview has been edited and condensed.

Are you somebody who has at all times gone your personal means?

I grew up with values from my mother and pop that you simply make the proper selections for the proper causes, and they aren’t depending on tennis. When I try this, no matter what which means for my tennis, I’m a cheerful particular person. Certainly, you possibly can’t please everybody, however that’s all I must do.

Do you get pissed off when individuals assault Naomi Osaka or Simone Biles for making selections based mostly on their psychological well being?

I haven’t adopted these tales too intently, however based mostly on the headlines, I hope that they’re making the proper selections for the proper causes. It shouldn’t matter to Simone and Naomi what the remainder of the world thinks.

In 2019, after reaching No. 1, you fell at Wimbledon, took three weeks off after which fell within the second spherical of your subsequent event. Did you’re feeling stress as the brand new No. 1?

It was actually thrilling — this was one thing I’d labored in the direction of. It definitely didn’t add any stress, if something it took it off as a result of I had completely nothing to show to anybody.

After Wimbledon, it was actually essential for me to go dwelling and take inventory. I arrived within the U.S. understanding I used to be most likely not going to be taking part in my finest tennis in a few of these tournaments. But I had a stable finish of the yr. [Barty reached the finals of the China Open and won the year-end WTA Finals.]

This yr, was it straightforward to seek out your footing instantly?

I simply take every week because it comes. Each match is a chance to do the most effective that I can on that given day. Whether that’s a win or loss is kind of irrelevant. It’s extra about going on the market with the proper angle whatever the end result.

As an athlete you want to have the ability to separate and never place your self-worth on these wins and losses — that’s definitely a false option to decide whether or not you’ve had a profitable profession. It’s extra about the way in which you go about it and the way a lot you get pleasure from that journey.

Were you assured earlier than Wimbledon or frightened about lingering accidents?

I at all times belief in my tennis. If I play effectively, I’ll be very arduous to beat. But at Wimbledon, my group and I had no thought how my physique was going to reply, so we have been on edge. I might get up every morning to see if I felt all proper. Getting by means of the event bodily was huge, so I used to be in a position to loosen up and play a few of my finest tennis when it mattered most.

The U.S. Open has proved your largest problem. You’ve by no means gotten previous the fourth spherical. Is there a particular problem to taking part in there for you?

I like taking part in in New York, and I like the circumstances. Making the fourth spherical a few years in a row will not be horrible — being within the second week of a Slam is the place you wish to be — and I’ve misplaced to some high quality opponents. We simply hold chipping away. I simply go there and attempt to put my finest foot ahead.

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