Home Sports Ashleigh Barty discusses Wimbledon, her Olympic 'dream' and being her 'authentic self'...

Ashleigh Barty discusses Wimbledon, her Olympic ‘dream’ and being her ‘authentic self’ with the media

Three weeks since she was forced to retire from the French Open, the place she received her first and solely grand slam in 2019, Barty is again on the court docket having weathered what she calls a interval of “gradual rehab.”

It’s been greater than 40 years since Evonne Goolagong received at Wimbledon — the final Australian lady to take action — whereas Alicia Molik is the solely Australian to medal in the singles competitors at the Olympics.

Were Barty, who has received 11 titles, to win both competitors, it could be a momentous milestone in her profession.

“Every little one rising up, each athlete whose sport or code is in the Olympics dares to dream (of profitable gold),” the 25-year-old tells CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies.

“I feel that is an enormous a part of being an athlete. It’s an enormous a part of sport.”

Barty is returning from injury having been forced to retire from the French Open earlier this month.

Of specific inspiration to Barty is Cathy Freeman, the Australian 400m runner who lit up the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when she raced to gold.

“In Australia, the nation stopped, the world stopped throughout her race,” says Barty.

“I’ve spoken to her a little bit bit about her experiences and we share mentors. For me to study of her experiences has been actually particular.

“But to additionally hear them as a buddy is basically cool, simply to know what she went by way of in her profession and her completely different challenges and the issues that she cherished. Being in a position to study from Cathy is the better of the greatest, and I used to be actually very fortunate.”

Team spirit

With a ban on international spectators at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Barty will not have the similar stage of fervent assist that Australian followers normally carry to sporting occasions, however she however hopes to attract motivation from her fellow teammates.

“We have such a wealthy historical past of Australian Olympians being actually profitable, and I feel it is not at all times nearly the success: it is about the workforce coming collectively and uniting as one,” she says.

“I feel the camaraderie you see in the Aussie groups are exceptional, I do not suppose anybody fairly understands that feeling that you simply do have. I’ve had a really small style of it in Fed Cup and a couple of completely different Australian groups, however nothing fairly like an Australian Olympic workforce.”

As for Wimbledon, which will get underway on Monday having been canceled amid the pandemic final 12 months, Barty will probably be hoping to progress past the spherical of 16 for the first time at this 12 months’s competitors.

Barty hits a return against Harriet Dart at Wimbledon in 2019.

Having triumphed there as a junior in 2011, the grass court docket grand slam is a match she holds pricey — in addition to being her favored floor.

“Just strolling into the All England Club once more, it provides you goosebumps,” says Barty, an envoy for Jaguar, a sponsor of Wimbledon.

“And each single time that you simply stroll into the gates, you are wowed. It’s one in every of the most unimaginable locations on Earth and actually one in every of my favorites to return again to.”

‘The greatest model of myself’

Absent from the ladies’s draw at Wimbledon this 12 months will probably be Naomi Osaka, who introduced she would skip the match having withdrawn from the French Open earlier this month.
It got here after Osaka, a four-time grand slam winner, declined to speak to the media at Roland-Garros, saying at the time that she had “suffered lengthy bouts of despair” since profitable her first main title in 2018 and wished to take care of her psychological well being.

For her personal half, Barty says that she sees the media as “half and parcel” of the job, though additionally acknowledges that the course of is not with out its difficulties.

“Our sport actually would not be the place it’s with out the media and with out being in a position to share our ideas,” she says.

“Of course, at occasions it is difficult. I’ll by no means conceal behind that undeniable fact that a few of my hardest moments have been going into press rooms. But that is OK. I feel it is also not the be all and finish all.

“I’m attempting to do the greatest that I can to be a tennis participant and go on the market and be the greatest model of myself and simply be my genuine self. I really feel like I’ve nothing to cover.

“I can not remark for a way Naomi’s feeling. She’s acquired a totally completely different profession to me, everybody has their very own distinctive challenges and their very own distinctive story … I hope that she’s acquired a assist community round her, that she’s speaking to who she must.”

Having loved a stellar junior profession, Barty took a break from tennis in 2014, later saying that the sport had develop into “robotic” and that she was a “sufferer of my very own success.”

She turned to cricket and earned a contract as an all-rounder with Brisbane Heat again in Australia, earlier than returning to tennis in 2016.

“It was my choice. I’m accountable for all my choices in my life and my profession,” Barty says of her time away from the sport.

“I actually cannot say that that will work for everybody, nevertheless it labored for me.”

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