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'No special secrets' - World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty keeps same approach heading into Wimbledon title assault

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 30 Jun 2019
  • Barty set to play first tournament as World No. 1
  • Aussie says her approach hasn't changed despite the spotlight
Ash Barty (PA Images)

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty insists she isn’t looking past the first round as she prepares to play her first tournament as World No. 1 at Wimbledon.

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In fact, Barty says she ‘hasn’t looked at the draw’ after being thrown head-first into the ‘quarter of death’, featuring seven-time champion Serena Williams, defending champion Angelique Kerber and other former Wimbledon winners Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova.
 
It’s sure to be a baptism of fire for Barty as she competes in a Grand Slam as the top seed for the first time, but the Australian will be taking it one match at a time, starting with an opening round against World No. 43 Zheng Saisai of China.

“Saisai has incredible abilities to match up on a grass court,” Barty said in her pre-tournament press conference.
“She has got a good slice backhand, the kick serve that will react well off the courts. She loves playing on the grass courts. It's a tough first-round match, one that I know I'll have to be ready for. I think that's kind of the perfect start for me, trying to make sure I'm really switched on for that first round match.”

Barty is a tour-leading 36-5 for 2019 so far, producing a phenomenal season that has yielded a first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, a maiden Premier Mandatory crown in Miami and the grass-court trophy in Birmingham, which elevated her to the World No. 1 ranking.

A Wimbledon junior champion when she was just 15, Barty admits she’s getting used to the new-found spotlight after becoming just the second Australian woman to hit the No. 1 ranking, but also says that she’s trying to keep the same approach.

“It's a new feeling for me,” Barty said of her swift rise. “Something that I've never experienced before. It hasn't really changed much, to be honest.
“We're still trying to go about all of our business, all of our preparations the same way. We know what we've been doing has been working. For us, it's about trying to keep that normality as much as possible.”

It’s that attitude which has propelled Barty from outside the top 600 three years ago - following her brief foray into professional cricket back in Australia - to the top of the tennis mountain this season.

The 23-year-old will be aiming to become only the ninth player to win the junior and senior Wimbledon title over the next fortnight.

“No special secrets. For me, it's just about trying to play the same way, the right way. I go out there and try and prepare as best as I can,” Barty continued.
“The only pressure is that that I put on myself to make sure that I do everything correctly and prepare as best that I can to try and play a good tennis match, try and play well, to enjoy myself.
“Regardless of whether I win or lose the match, I can walk off with a smile, know I've done everything possible to try to do my best.”


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"No special secrets" - World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty keeps same approach heading into Wimbledon title assault

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty insists she isn’t looking past the first round as she prepares to play her first tournament as World No. 1 at Wimbledon.

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