World number one, Queensland’s Ash Barty is facing a new challenge: attention.
The humble, Disney line-spinning, ace smashing, world beating 23-year-old said that nothing has changed now that she’s ranked No. 1, except “a little bit more attention.”
“I’m talking to you guys [the press] more and more now, but I don’t feel like I have a lot to say,” Barty told journalists at a round-table interview.
Barty is in Toronto ahead of her first match since Wimbledon, where she bowed out in a career-best fourth round appearance.
She travelled home after Wimbledon to spend time with family and said she’s now feeling recharged.
“It’s just been a bizarre, whirlwind few months for me, but it was really nice to go back home and refresh and relax with family,” Barty said.
“That was the best thing, just being able to share that with those that I love the most, about everything that I went through in the last two or three months.”
Barty returned home with the Roland Garros trophy, her first Grand Slam victory that helped catapult her to the top spot.
But Barty is playing down the accolades from friends, family and the press.
“I’m far from a champion,” Barty said.
“When I think of legends and champions, particularly on the women’s side, I think of Evonne [Goolagong], Alicia [Molik] and Casey [Dellacqua] … It’s just genuine people who had a crack and were the best version of themselves, did the best that they could and applied themselves every single day.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do … Even though at the moment I’ve got the No.1 ranking and a Grand Slam title, that doesn’t change anything for me,” Barty said.
The US Open starts on August 27th.