Ash Barty is praised for her heartwarming gesture for ball girl who took a tumble on centre court at the Australian Open
- Ash Barty came from one set down to win her Australian Open first round match
- Her stunning comeback wasn’t the only classy display from world number one
- Australian briefly stopped play after ball girl took a tumble while retrieving ball
Ash Barty showed why she’s the darling of women’s tennis on Monday night as she won over fans with a heartwarming gesture.
The world number one stormed back from one set down to win her Australian Open first round match against 120 ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko in Melbourne.
But her stunning comeback wasn’t the only classy display from the Australian star.
Up 3-1 halfway through the second set, Barty briefly halted play to check on a young ball girl after she took a tumble on centre court in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena.
Ash Barty briefly stopped play moments after the ball girl (right) took a tumble off-camera
The crowd can be heard gasping as the youngster tumbled off-camera while retrieving a ball before applauding as the girl quickly got to her feet.
‘Are you alright?’ a concerned Barty asked the red-faced youngster on the sidelines before serving.
The kind gesture showed not all tennis players are like lowly ranked Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit.
He copped a roasting from the match umpire after he demanded a ball girl peel a banana for him during an Australian Open qualifier on Sunday.
The red-faced ball girl (left) managed a smile for the cameras after Barty’s touching gesture
Barty, 23, hopes to become the first Australian woman in 42 years to win the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Moments after Monday night’s 5-7 6-1 6-1 win, Barty gave a typically Aussie response when asked by commentator Sam Smith about giving fans ‘a terrible scare’.
‘Nah it’s all good,’ Barty replied as the crowd erupted into laughter.
The first round win came two days after claiming her first tournament title on home soil at the Adelaide International.
‘Look, I think I was pressing a little bit early. Made a few too many errors,’ Barty later told reporters.
‘I was rushing it a little bit trying to finish off too early.’
‘But I was able to tighten the screws in the second set and run away with it.’
Ash Barty (pictured after Monday night’s victory) won many hearts with her classy gesture
The defending French Open champion said she’s handling the expectations better as she competes in more grand slams.
She reached the quarter finals at last year’s Australian Open.
‘It’s an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it’s getting better,’ Barty said.
‘I’m doing it with my team. We’re doing it as a team. We’re loving it. We’re embracing it. There’s no other way to approach it.’
The Barty party kicked off in impressive style at the Australian Open on Monday night