Australian tennis ace Ash Barty is SLAMMED for a Covid rule breach – but she insists there’s a simple explanation
- Australian tennis star Ash Barty caught not wearing a mask in a Melbourne Coles
- World number one ‘forgot’ to wear a face mask when picking up a watermelon
- Barty vowed to ‘be better next time’ as she prepares for 2021 Australian Open
Australian tennis ace Ash Barty has been slammed for breaching a basic Covid rule – but is adamant it was an ‘innocent mistake.’
The world number one acknowledged she ‘has to be better’ after forgetting to wear a face mask in a Melbourne supermarket.
Barty, 24, was buying watermelon on Thursday sans a mask when she ran into Sky News reporter Andrea Crothers who promptly tweeted the ‘breaking news’.
‘I apologised as soon as I realised my mistake,’ Barty said.
Barty (pictured above) entered a Coles supermarket to pick up a watermelon minus a mask
The tweet (pictured above) after a Sky News reporter ran into Ash Barty in a supermarket not wearing a face mask
‘I understand we all need to do our bit to keep the community safe and I will be better next time.’
After opting to skip most of last year’s circuit during the pandemic, Barty looms as a genuine title threat at Melbourne Park.
In 2020, she was a semi-finalist, losing to eventual women’s champion Sofia Kenin.
Barty is set to feature at next Friday’s Adelaide exhibition event alongside the likes of Serena Williams, world number two Simona Halep and Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
Her last competitive match was last February in Qatar, leaving Barty excited to return to on-court action.
‘We are so lucky in Australia to have a home grand slam; the support of the Australian fans means the world to me and I always want to do well here,’ she said.
‘I understand this year will be different in many respects but I hope I can do the local fans proud.
‘The circumstances around this year’s event are definitely challenging and I understand the frustration of all the players who have had to quarantine.
‘But keeping Melburnians safe and making sure we put health first has to be the priority.’
Ash Barty will be one of the favourites to win the Australian Open starting on February 8 at Melbourne Park
Tennis world number one Ash Barty (pictured right) has vowed to ‘be better’ after she was busted not wearing a face mask in a Melbourne supermarket