World No. 1 Ash Barty ended her season after a shocking 3rd round defeat at the 2021 US Open to spend some time with her family as she had spent the entire year after the Australian summer away from home due to Covid protocols in place that had made frequent flying difficult for the players.
Barty was the first player to qualify for the 2021 WTA Finals but also withdrew from the tournament giving up her chance to pick up another big trophy on the Tour in what was already a good season for the 25-year old who dominated on all surfaces. As the 2022 season is about to begin, Barty recently spoke with Tennis Australia about her time away from the sport and spending time with her family.
“Since coming home I have been training every day, but I have also managed to spend time with my family and friends. I coached my niece Lucy and a few of her friends over the weekend which was a lot of fun. Seeing the smiles on those little faces when they play makes the sport meaningful.
“This week I feel very tired. I worked very hard, both on and off the pitch. I’m doing everything I can to be ready for January. These first weeks of preparation are always very hard physically,” said Barty in her interview.
Ash Barty won 5 titles in 2021
After winning the Gippsland Trophy to start her season with a title, she lost in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. After a shocking 2nd round defeat in Adelaide, she won the Miami Open. In her first tournament on Clay, she lost in the quarter-finals in Charleston but then won the title in Stuttgart. She lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the finals of the Madrid Open in a repeat of the Stuttgart Open finals.
After a quarter-final loss in the Italian Open, she lost in the 2nd round of the French Open to end her clay season. She then played directly at Wimbledon where she won her 2nd Grand Slam title dropping just two sets throughout the tournament on her way to the title. She then suffered a shocking loss in the first 1st round of the Tokyo Olympics.
She made a successful return to the Tour winning the Cincinnati Open, her second WTA-1000 title of the season winning the tournament without dropping a set. She then played her final tournament of the season at the US Open before ending her season.