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Ashleigh Barty discusses Wimbledon, her Olympic ‘dream’ and being her ‘authentic self’ with the media



CNN

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty currently has two things in mind: Wimbledon her first championship and prospect Olympic Games.

Three weeks since she forced to retire from the French Open, where she won her first and only Grand Slam in 2019, Barty is back on the court after overcoming what she calls a “slow recovery”.

It’s been more than 40 years since Evonne Goolagong won Wimbledon – the last Australian woman to do so – while Alicia Molik is the only Australian to win a medal in singles at the Olympics.

As Barty, who has won 11 titles, winning both competitions, it would be a major milestone in her career.

“Every kid growing up, every athlete with a sport or code in the Olympics dares to dream (win a gold medal),” said the 25-year-old. CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies.

“I think that’s an important part of being an athlete. It’s an important part of sport. ”

Barty is returning from an injury that forced him to miss the French Open earlier this month.

Jimmie 48 Tennis

Barty is returning from an injury that forced him to miss the French Open earlier this month.

Barty’s particular inspiration was Cathy Freeman, the Australian 400m runner who lit up the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when she raced for gold.

Barty said: “In Australia, the nation stops, the world stops in her race.

“I talked to her a bit about her experience and we shared mentors. For me, learning from her experience was really special.

“But it was nice to hear them as a friend, just to know what she’s been through in her career and her various challenges and the things that she loves. Being able to learn from Cathy is the best of the best, and I’ve certainly been very lucky. ”

With one Ban international spectators at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Barty won’t have the same level of support that Australian fans often bring to sporting events, but she hopes to draw momentum from her teammates.

“We have a rich history of Australian Olympic athletes being really successful, and I think it’s not always about success: it’s about getting the team together and coming together,” she said. like one,” she said.

“I think the camaraderie you see on the Aussie teams is remarkable, I don’t think anyone understands the feeling you have. I’ve tasted it very few times in the Fed Cup and several different Australian teams, but nothing like the Australian Olympic team.”

As for Wimbledon, which was taking place on Monday that was canceled amid last year’s pandemic, Barty will be hoping to progress beyond the round of 16 for the first time at this year’s competition.

Barty beat Harriet Dart at Wimbledon 2019.

GLYN KIRK / AFP / AFP via Getty Images

Barty beat Harriet Dart at Wimbledon 2019.

Winning there as a junior in 2011, the grass-court Grand Slam is the tournament she loves – as well as her favorite surface.

Barty, Jaguar ambassador, Wimbledon sponsor, said: “Just walking into the All England Club again, it gives you goosebumps.

“And every time you enter the gate, you will be amazed. It’s one of the most incredible places on Earth and definitely one of my favorite places to go back to. ”

Absence from the women’s draw at Wimbledon this year will Naomi Osaka, who announced she would skip the tournament after withdrawing from the French Open earlier this month.

It comes after Osaka, four-time Grand Slam winner, refused to speak to the media at Roland-Garros, at the time, she said she had been “sustained with depression” since winning her first major title in 2018 and wanted to take care of her mental health.

For her part, Barty says she considers communication “an integral part” of the job, although also admits that the process has not been without difficulties.

“Our sport would certainly not exist without the media and the inability to share our thoughts,” she said.

“Of course, sometimes it’s challenging. I will never hide the fact that some of my toughest moments were brought into the press room. But do not worry. I think it’s also not the be all and end all.

00:55 – Source: CNN

Ashleigh Barty’s 2019 French Open victory in her own words

“I’m trying to do the best I can to be a tennis player and go out there and be the best version of myself and just the real me. I feel like I have nothing to hide.

“I cannot comment on how Naomi feels. She has a completely different career than mine, each with their own unique challenges and unique stories… I hope that she has a support network around her, that she is Talk to the people she needs. ”

After enjoying a stellar career in junior high, Barty retired from tennis in 2014, later saying the sport had become “robot” and that she was a “victim of her own success”. I”.

She turned to cricket and earned a contract as an all-rounder with the Brisbane Heat in Australia, before returning to tennis in 2016.

“It was my decision. I take responsibility for all the decisions I make in my life and career,” Barty said of his time away from the sport.

“I certainly can’t say that will work for everyone, but it has worked for me.”

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