Ash Barty built a near-perfect game but never lost sight of the No 1 priority: herself | Tumaini Carayol

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Since taking an extended break from tennis at the age of 18, the retiring champion has put her happiness and wellbeing first

Throughout the chaotic month of January, Ash Barty burst into the new tennis season in full flow, dismantling all challengers. She scythed them with her backhand slice, out-served opponents who towered over her by half a foot or more, and continually displayed her encyclopaedic knowledge of each opponent’s game, homing in on their weaknesses and methodically picking them apart.

In a sport where players tend to focus only on themselves, that last quality is distinct enough. But it is even more fascinating considering Barty’s relationship with tennis. Despite the game flowing through her veins, it is not of particular interest to her aside from personal ambitions and daily work. Off the court she keeps a healthy distance from it, her hobbies are elsewhere, and tennis is never on the TV when she is nearby. “It’s gonna be a great match,” Barty said, when asked about the second semi-final after she reached the Australian Open final. She chuckled to herself. “I probably won’t watch it.”

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Written by Tumaini Carayol
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2022/mar/23/tennis-ash-barty-retires-perfect-game-happiness under the title “Ash Barty built a near-perfect game but never lost sight of the No 1 priority: herself | Tumaini Carayol”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.