Ashleigh Barty staged her best performance in what has been a remarkable comeback tour this past week in Wuhan, China, upsetting three Top 10 players – and four Top 10 seeds – en route to her first WTA Premier 5 final.
Here’s a little more on the comeback kid from Australia:
The Ashleigh Barty File
Residence: Ipswich, Australia
Current Rank: 23
Career-High Rank: 23 (October 2017)
Best US Open Finish: 3R (2017)
- Barty was a standout junior, winning the Wimbledon girls’ title and reaching the US Open junior semifinals in 2011 as a 15-year-old. Two years later, she teamed with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua to reach Grand Slam doubles finals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
- Citing exhaustion, Barty walked away from the game at age 17, after the 2014 US Open. She eventually turned to cricket, playing a season for the Brisbane Heat in the professional Women’s Big Bash League, before returning to tennis. In her first event – the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Perth, Australia, in February 2016 – she won the doubles title with countrywoman Jessica Moore.
- Barty returned to singles play later that year at a $50,000 event in Birmingham, England, qualifying and reaching the semifinals, and by the end of the year she climbed to No. 325 in the world.
- That set the stage for what has been a remarkable 2017. Barty won her first WTA singles title in Kuala Lampur, reached the final at the Wimbledon tune-up in Birmingham, England, and advanced to the third round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She has enjoyed even greater success in doubles, winning three titles (with Dellacqua) and reaching the French Open final.
- In Wuhan, Barty knocked off Top 50 American CiCi Bellis, No. 5 seed Johanna Konta, No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 3 Karolina Pliskova and No. 8 Jelena Ostapenko to reach the final, where she fell to Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in a tightly contested three-setter. With that, Barty broke into the Top 30 for the first time in her career, setting herself up for a seed at the 2018 Australian Open.
They Said It!
“It really has been a phenomenal year. For me, I don't know if I thought it was all possible, but it's certainly nice to be reaping the rewards.” – Barty, to wtatennis.com, on her breakthrough 2017 coming after taking an extended leave from the game