‘My team do a good job at taking the p***’: Ash Barty shruggs off the hype as local hero targets place in final at the Australian Open
- Australian is two victories from cementing her place as a national heroine
- Barty will face 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin for a place in Melbourne final
- World No 1 has been deliberately avoiding seeing images of herself around town
Ash Barty’s face is all over Melbourne endorsing range of products as she moves towards becoming the first homegrown female champion at the Australian Open in 42 years.
The French Open champion and one-time Big Bash cricketer is, however, cheerfully shrugging off the expectations as the attention grows on her, moving within two victories of cementing her place as a national heroine.
Named last week as Young Australian of the Year, Barty will now face 21 year-old American Sofia Kenin for a place in the final.
Australian star Ash Barty is cheerfully shrugging off the expectations of fans this week
Not one to take herself too seriously, she has been deliberately avoiding seeing images of herself around town.
‘My team do a good job at taking the p*** a little bit, sending me some of the photos,’ she said. ‘ You just have to have fun with it. That’s the only way.
‘I’ve been on-site quite a bit, not really going for leisurely strolls around Melbourne. When I have an hour or two, it’s more just going back to the apartment and spending time with family. That’s about it.’
Barty will face 21 year-old American Sofia Kenin for a place in the final at the Australian Open
Barty knocked out last year’s beaten finalist Petra Kvitova 7-6 6-2, and will now tackle the different challenge of the number 14 seed, who ended the surprise run of Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-4.
The Australian will be favourite to progress but Kenin has had the major confidence boost of also defeating Coco Gauff at this event. Simona Halep did that at Wimbledon and went on to win the title.
The other two women’s quarter finals were due to be played overnight.