Great to be back

Emma Raducanu, the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, has declared: "It's a great feeling to be back home.”

Halep marries Toni Iuruc in Constanta

Simona Halep has married her long-time boyfriend in a small civil ceremony in her hometown of Constanta on the Black Sea on Wednesday.

Tyzzer admits decision may have impacted Barty loss at US Open

It seems a decision made by coach Craig Tyzzer could have contributed to Ash Barty’s early departure from the US Open last week, although fatigue was also a factor after the Aussie won the title in Cincinnati ahead of Flushing Meadows.

France to open BJK Cup in Prague

The ITF has announced the schedule for the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals 2021 to be held at the O2 Arena in Prague from 1-6 November.

And so it begins…

Who reading this, even those who may not have affection for or affiliation with the game of tennis, could have failed to be mesmerised by the recent Raducanu journey, which concluded with her becoming the first ever qualifier to win one of the game’s primary sporting...

Nadal set for difficult recovery.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal admitted on Wednesday he faces a "difficult" and "painful" recovery from the foot injury that forced him to miss Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.

Andy Murray to re-train body!

Andy Murray, after his five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round of the US Open, believes he needs to clock up a series of matches to get his body used to playing again following his hip replacement operations in 2017 and 2019 and, to that end, has...

Barty to play Indian Wells but uncertain over WTA Finals

World No 1 Ash Barty is eyeing the BNP Paribas Open, set for 4-17 October at Indian Wells, but her coach Craig Tyzzer is critical of the WTA’s decision to hold the year-end Finals in Guadalajara, casting doubts on whether the Aussie will defend the title she won in...

A chance which can’t be missed

Andy Murray, a triple Slam title winner, reckons Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph is a “huge opportunity for British tennis”.

2021 WTA Finals to be played in Guadalajara

The 2021 WTA Finals, the season ending championships featuring the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race, has been moved from Shenzhen to Guadalajara in Mexico, and will be held from 8 November, the WTA announced in St Petersburg, Florida, on...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Barty back to training

As lockdown eases in Melbourne, World No 1 Ashleigh Barty is back on the training court, making her preparations for the start of the 2021 season after a lengthy break from the game.

[COVID-19 has been] a massive punch in the face to think about your perspective and to think about the things that really matter to you on a personal level. The most challenging part is that we are never home for more than two or three weeks at a time, so to actually be able to have two or three months off at home [in a] forced break that hopefully becomes a blessing. Ashleigh Barty

She has reunited with her coach Craig Tyzzer, who was unable to leave Victoria due to state border closures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, and enjoying her work.

Barty, who lives in Queensland, has not played a professional match since February, skipping the US Open because of strict quarantine arrangements and domestic travel restrictions, and then opted not to defend to her title at the French Open.

Suitably refreshed after her lengthy break, Barty hopes the interval will prove a blessing as she returns to training to get ready for the home Australian summer.

“For me, it is a continuation of what we have been working on for the last two years,” Barty told The Australian, adding that the training felt like Tyzzer ‘had never left’.

“[COVID-19 has been] a massive punch in the face to think about your perspective and to think about the things that really matter to you on a personal level.

“The most challenging part [of tennis] is that we are never home for more than two or three weeks at a time, so to actually be able to have two or three months off at home [in a] forced break that hopefully becomes a blessing.”

Because of the revised WTA Rankings, which are following the ‘Better of 2019 and 2020’ point model for singles and doubles players, Barty will start the 2021 season as the top-ranked women’s player after the system was adjusted due to the pandemic.

When the tour was suspended in March, the 52-week ranking system was amended so that players could retain points garnered since March 2019.

Barty, who played professional cricket during her stint away from the game early in her career, has been a regular in the stands cheering Australian Football League side Richmond Tigers, and also honed her golf skills during the COVID-19 break.

She also took part in beach training sessions run by former World No 1 and two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter that were focussed on breathing exercises.

“It was really nice, just for a change in scenery … And it was challenging,” she said. “I mingled with a couple of the surfers as well, and saw what they did, and obviously that is something they are quite accustomed to, controlling their breathing.”

Her decision not to travel when the tour resumed in August was mirrored by her compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur, and all, no doubt, will all strive to benefit from the break.

Barty has dealt with both pressure and depression early on in her career, and she emerged in 2016 from her self-imposed two-year break looking at the sport differently, sating that tennis will never govern her life.

After a long stay in Europe during her Roland Garros title run, she did not touch a racket for two weeks.

The last time she was seen in competition at home, she missed out on the Australian Open final after losing in two sets against Sofia Kenin.

Some viewed the defeat as a missed opportunity, but Kenin’s subsequent success only serves to demonstrate the depth of women’s tennis these days and Barty remained untroubled.

As many of her top rivals closed off their season last week in Ostrava, Barty will see out 2020 ranked No 1 for the second consecutive season.

She has spent 46 weeks at No 1 and, unless the ranking system changes again, she will remain there for at least another 15 weeks until the end of the Australian Open.

Interestingly, by February she will have spent three times longer at the summit than Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters, and six times more than Venus Williams, which is not bad for someone who is so laid back and has not struck a ball in anger for 10 months.

Ash Barty and Ian Nankervis hoist the cup aloft during the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on 24 October in Brisbane

© Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.