To commemorate the proud Ngarigo woman and sporting hero for many young athletes, The Inner Sanctum looks back at some of Ash Barty’s most iconic moments on the court.
It has been six days since the 25-year-old shocked the world, announcing her retirement from tennis to the world.
Ash Barty’s work off the court has been highly commendable, especially within the Indigenous Australian community, but her success on the court is all the more powerful testament to her talent, resilience, and humility.
The sweet taste of victory
Barty has three Grand Slam titles to her name: French Open (2019), Wimbledon (2021), and Australian Open (2022). It was at the 2019 French Open that Barty had her first taste of Grand Slam glory, defeating the Czech Republic’s Markéta Vondroušová 6-1, 6-3, in the final.
First victories are sweet, but this victory was made even sweeter when Barty became Australia’s fourth French Open women’s singles champion. She also broke Australia’s 46-year Women’s French Open title drought. She became the first Australian woman to win the Roland-Garros tournament since Margaret Court’s victory in 1973.
While Barty’s victory was a testament to her impressive athletic abilities, the road to her first major singles title was far from smooth. Burdened by the expectations and pressure on her shoulders to make an impact in singles, Barty hung up her racquet in 2016 and focused on cricket instead. She picked her racquet back up just three years before the 2019 French Open.
Claiming her throne
When Barty made her return to the tennis court, she meant business. Barty’s rise to the top came shortly after her first Grand Slam success in 2019.
After claiming victory at the 2019 French Open, Barty followed it with another tournament win at the Birmingham Classic. By late 2019, she became the world’s top-ranked tennis player.
Barty became the second Australian woman to be ranked world number one in the Women’s Tennis Association–following in the footsteps of fellow Indigenous Australian player Evonne Goolagong Cawley who was at the top in 1976.
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The Wimbledon dream
After an 11-month hiatus amid COVID-19 and international travel restrictions, Barty returned to the tennis court in 2021, more determined than ever to make her Wimbledon dream a reality.
It was on the hallowed greens of Wimbledon that saw Barty crowned two-time Grand Slam champion, cementing her world number one ranking.
She defeated the Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková, the world number eight at the time, 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.
Humble champion on home soil
In the presence of an adoring home crowd at the 2022 Australian Open, Barty concluded her professional tennis career on a high, winning 6-3 7-6(2) against USA’s Danielle Collins.
Barty became the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open title since Chris O’Neill in 1978.
Her triumphant win looked to set her up for a promising 2022. However, after three Grand Slam titles, 15 singles titles, 12 doubles titles, and holding the world number one title for 121 weeks, her final moments on the hardcourt of the Rod Laver Arena was the perfect way to conclude this chapter of her life.