World No. 1 Ash Barty ticked all boxes during her run at the 2022 Australian Open when she became the first Australian since 1978 to win the home Slam. Barty did not drop a single set throughout the tournament and had her service broken just thrice during her title charge as she claimed her 3rd major.
The win made Barty one of the only 5 active players and just the second woman to have won Grand Slams on all three surfaces. She joins Serena Williams and the trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the list. With only the US Open evading her to complete the Career Slam, Barty talked about how different has her all 3 Grand Slam victories been having won the 2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon earlier.
“I think in Paris in 2019, I still felt like a little kid. I still felt like this little kid who was learning so much. Big wide eyes, deer in headlights, just not really knowing what was happening. That tournament, the back end happened really quickly. We had a lot of rain and it was quarters, semifinal, bang, bang, bang. No time to think, no time to move.
“I think I learned so much in the period between the French Open and Wimbledon. Wimbledon was an experience of adversity. It was the biggest injury of my career, a 10-centimetre tear in my adductor and not being able to move the week before and being able to then find a way to navigate my way through that tournament was my biggest dream. Wimbledon, without a doubt, was the biggest dream I had as a child.
“And now coming back here to the Australian Open the following year, it almost feels like a full-circle moment where, if anything, there is no pressure. It doesn’t exist anymore. I just get to go out there and they may do the best that I can make my own decisions for my own reasons. I sleep well at night knowing that my team and I do all the right things for us. We have fun with it, we enjoy it, and that’s all that matters,” said Barty speaking with the WTA Insider after claiming her record-breaking win in Melbourne Park last week.
“Most unbelievale fortnight” Ash Barty discusses the crowd at the Australian Open
With Barty the World No. 1 for more than a year now, she was the heavy favourite coming into the tournament and with the crowd behind her, Barty winning the Slam was not a massive surprise and she justified the crowd’s support and love in every match in her dominant and rampant run during the Australian Open.
“I think it’s not the satisfaction, it’s just the opportunity. I’ve just been so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to do something that not many people get to do. And I think being able to really enjoy it has been the most satisfactory thing, actually being able to enjoy the experience.
“This doesn’t feel like work. This is fun. This is incredibly fun to be able to share it with the crowd, to engage the crowd. It’s just been the most unbelievable fortnight in a sense of enjoying every single moment, taking it for what it is, and really playing my best tennis when it mattered most,” added Barty further.