Tennis golden girl Ash Barty shrugs off shock loss at the Australian Open and says ‘life is beautiful’ as she cradles her 11-week-old niece
- Australian tennis star Ash Barty has been knocked out of the Australian Open
- She lost her semi-final match in straight sets to American Sofia Kenin
- The 23-year-old star cradled her 11-week-old niece during post match interview
- She refused to blame her loss on the 40 degree heat and pressure to win
Taking solace in family, Ashleigh Barty put on the bravest of faces after having her Australian Open dream shattered in a semi-final shocker at Melbourne Park.
The 23-year-old lost her semi-final match in 40C heat to American Sofia Kenin on Thursday, going down in straight sets.
Kenin, 21, defied searing heat and her world No.15 ranking to upset the top seed 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 in front of a stunned crowd at Rod Laver Arena.
Cradling her 11-week-old niece Olivia throughout her post-match press conference, Barty said she needed to put her defeat in perspective.
Ash Barty (pictured) has been knocked out of the Australian Open
Cradling her infant niece Olivia throughout the post-match press conference, Barty said she needed to put her defeat in perspective
‘My sister just had her about 11, 12 weeks ago. Yeah, this is what life is all about. It’s amazing,’ Barty said.
‘Perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing. She brought a smile to my face as soon as came off the court. I got to give her a hug and it’s all good.’
Barty refused to blame her loss on the scorching heat and pressure to win the match as the only Australian remaining in the tournament.
‘I didn’t feel super comfortable. I felt like my first plan wasn’t working. I couldn’t execute the way that I wanted. I tried to go to B and C,’ Barty said.
‘I try and go out and play the way I want to play. If it doesn’t work, I know I have different tools I can go to.
‘I tried to go to those tools today. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite scrap enough to get over the line.’
She lost her semi-final match to American Sofia Kenin (pictured) in Melbourne on Thursday, going down in straight sets
Sofia Kenin of the USA (left) hugs Ashleigh Barty of Australia after winning the women’s singles semi final match
Barty praised Kenin for her pulling off one of the upsets of the tournament.
‘I have to give credit where credit’s due. Sofia came out and played aggressively on those points and deserved to win.’
The winner of a tour-best 38 hard-court matches last year, Kenin reversed her loss to Barty at last year’s French Open to reach her maiden grand slam final.
‘She is a top-10 player. After this week, she is (officially) a top-10 player. She deserves that respect and she deserves the recognition,’ she continued.
‘I’ve been in a grand slam semi-final before. Yes, it’s different at home but I enjoyed the experience,’ Barty said.
‘I love being out there. I’ve loved every minute of playing in Australia over the last month.
‘Yeah, I could have had an opportunity to go one more match, but we didn’t quite get that today.’
Barty was named 2020 Young Australian of the Year last week. Pictured at the post match interview on Thursday following her loss against American Sofia Kenin
Barty, from Ipswich in Queensland, had become the first Australian to reach the final four in Melbourne in 36 years
Barty, from Ipswich in Queensland, had become the first Australian to reach the final four in Melbourne in 36 years.
She had climbed the ranks to become the world’s number one women’s singles player, as well as serving as the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia.
Barty was named 2020 Young Australian of the Year last week.
‘All of my values that I’ve lived by and try to live by every single day, regardless of whether it’s in sport… all come from mum and dad,’ she said.
‘It’s about being humble and respectful, and giving it a crack – trying to be the best you can be, and that’s all you can ask of yourself.’