It’s Day 2 of the Australian Open and she’s the name on everybody’s lips...
The current Women’s Singles number 1 is already making waves, from her infectious smile to inspiring children round the world to get into tennis.
So, if you’re looking to get your Australian Open knowledge up to scratch, we’d recommend starting with getting to know Ash Barty.
Last year, Ash became the second-ever Australian woman to reach the top singles ranking. Put simply, she’s a big deal. She started playing tennis at a young age and won the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon in 2011, age 15, and aside from a short break, has continued to rise ever since.
Break from tennis
In 2014, Barty took some time out from tennis: she was struggling with life on the road and wanted to spend time with her family to make sure she didn’t burn out.
During her hiatus, Ash picked up another sport: cricket. It turns out she was pretty good at that too, as she ended up training with the Brisbane Heat before returning to tennis in early 2016.
Proud of her roots
Ash is the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia. Coming from an indigenous background herself, Ash is extremely passionate about trying to get more indigenous participation in tennis and finding potential champs.
She’s an all-rounder
Before her comeback, Barty was probably best known for her doubles play, but has since shown she plays equally well on her own.
Known for her distinctive style of play, Ash has been known to throw off even the most intimidating of opponents with her speed and control, especially when playing on grass.
She loves animals
If you follow Ash on Instagram, a quick scroll will tell you that she’s a massive dog lover, with four dogs who she affectionately calls the ‘Wolfpack’.
She’s also an ambassador for RSPCA, frequently speaking out about the benefits of adopting pets and everything the RSPCA does to help animals.
You can watch Ash and other tennis stars as they battle it out at the Australian Open from January 20 to February 2.