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Why Ash Barty is the Aussie tennis player we should all be watching.

With the Australian Open tennis on, the Kyrgios, Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt feud has dominated headlines, distracting from the young and upcoming Australian champions who are quietly but fiercely winning their matches.

Despite Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic both being defeated in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament, they nevertheless have taken the spotlight with their controversial words.

But have you heard of Ash Barty?

The 22-year-old Indigenous woman is currently ranked 15 in the world. In the Australian Open, she has won all three of her matches in straight sets and will now enter the fourth round.

Her achievements in the tennis world have been sensational, her passion for the game is clear and her attitude towards each match is refreshing.

“When I am playing well I’m really enjoying myself out on court and that is all I can ask of every match,” she said on Wednesday after she won against Chinese player Wang Yafan in the second round. “If I win it’s a bonus.”

“If I lose, the sun still comes up the next day and it’s all good.”

Who is Ash Barty?

Ash Barty is Australia’s number one women’s tennis player.

Born in 1996, Barty grew up in Springfield, Queensland, with her parents Josie and Robert Barty and two older sisters, Sara and Ali. Her father is from the Ngarigo indigenous people and her mother is of English decent.

According to Sydney Morning Herald she met her junior tennis coach Jim Joyce when she was five years old and when she was nine he was making her practice against 15 year old boys. Joyce says she was winning so many matches in the junior competitions that she began to donate the trophies to struggling tennis clubs.

At the age of 15, Barty became the 2011 junior Wimbledon champion.

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Image via Getty.
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Barty's break from tennis.

Despite being the junior Wimbledon champion, at 17 years old Barty stepped away from playing professional tennis due to the overwhelming demand she felt and it's impact on her mental state.

"I went from not being known anywhere in the world to winning junior Wimbledon and six months later playing the Australian Open," Barty has said about her juniors career. "I was a victim of my own success, really."

Barty says she felt depressed and knew stepping away from the game professionally was necessary for her mental state.

A true athlete, during her tennis hiatus Barty played in the Women's Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat.

When she returned in 2016, she said: “It was good for me and my mind. I feel like I’m back happy and healthier and playing some good tennis at the moment. I’m back, happier and healthier.’’

Ash Barty's return.

Barty started 2017 ranked 325 in the world, but since then has been able to secure three singles titles: the AYLA Malaysian Open, Nottingham and the WTA Elite Trophy.

Last year she won her first Grand Slam title being the US Open's women's doubles final alongside American CoCo Vandeweghe.

Her success since returning also saw her win the Newcombe Medal alongside fellow Aussie, Alex De Minaur.

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In the first three weeks of 2019, she has certainly shown that she is playing better than ever. In an extraordinary achievement, Barty beat the world No. 1 Simona Halep in straight sets during the Sydney International. She just missed winning her fourth title at the Sydney International, but nevertheless her fight during the final match was incredible.

Now in the Australian Open she has so far won her three matches in straight sets, making it to the final sixteen players in the tournament. Her next match will be on Sunday.

Off the court.

Barty has been named National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador by Tennis Australia in an effort to inspire more Indigenous youth to play tennis.

"I’m very proud of my Indigenous heritage and to be named as a National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador. Giving back to my community is very important to me and I hope to inspire many more Indigenous kids to get active and enjoy their tennis," the tennis star posted to her Twitter page.

And on Instagram she is the kind of woman you would want your daughter or son to follow. She posts candid moments with her dogs, snaps with her boyfriend and photos from her tennis career.

 

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Pit stop for a puppachino ????????????

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Second week feels ????✨????

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Sunday arvo swings with the Gorgeous Gremlins ????????????

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What a year! Thank you 2018. Cheers, Alex ????

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I made a friend ???? #GarryforGetty ????

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Away from the drama caused by Kyrgios and Tomic, it really is Barty we should all be talking about.

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