Outside of her native Australia she is hardly known.
When Australia’s No.1 Ash Barty and fellow Queenslander Priscilla Hon combined to beat Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar in the live fifth doubles rubber, handing Australia a 3-2 victory over the United States in Asheville, North Carolina at the weekend, many in the tennis world asked: “Who is Ash Barty?”
Despite the fact she had a great run in the Australian Open last month, outside her native land Down Under she is hardly known.
The victory in the US have Australia its first appearance in the World Group semifinals since 2014, and just the second since the green and gold advanced to the final of the competition almost 26 years ago.
And Barty was crucial to that result, winning both her singles rubbers before the doubles to go a perfect 3-0 in Asheville.
The 22-year-old has now won 11 consecutive Fed Cup rubbers and extends her competition record to a sparkling 14-2 across both singles and doubles.
“I’ve said right from the start, it’s an honour and privilege to be able to play for Australia. When Mol (captain Alicia Molik) asked me to play three times during the week, I put my hand up absolutely, do whatever she asks,” Barty said.
“For all of us, I’m so proud of every single person sitting on this table. I think in particularly Mol having the belief and the faith in us, knowing that whoever she puts out on the court, we can back in 100 per cent.
So who is Ash Barty …
Ashleigh BartyAUSTRALIAN RANKING: #1WTA RANKING: #13Age: 22Born: 24 April 1996Birth Place: Ipswich, QueenslandLives: Springfield, QueenslandHeight: 163cmPlays: Right-handedCoach: Craig Tyzzer
* Started playing tennis at the age of 5.
* Won the Wimbledon girls’ singles title in 2011 at age 15, beating Irina Khromacheva in the final.
* Made her WTA debut at the Brisbane International in 2012.
* Secured a wildcard for her first Grand Slam event, the 2012 Australian Open.
* Won her maiden ITF Futures Pro Tour title on home soil in Sydney in 2012, following up with wins in Mildura and Nottingham.
* Stepped away from tennis in late 2014; to pursue a career in cricket, playing for the Brisbane Heat in the women’s Big Bash League.
* Made a singles comeback in late May 2016 after a 21-month hiatus; went 11-2 in her first two events on grass in Eastbourne (ITF $50,000) and Nottingham (WTA).
* Her best Grand Slam singles result is reaching the third round of Australian Open 2017.
* Came from qualifying to win her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur in March 2017.
* Cracked the top 100 on 6 March 2017, at world No.92.
* Won her second WTA title at the Nottingham Open in June 2018.
* Favourite shot is the forehand and favourite surface is grass.
* Person she most admires is former world No.1 Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
Hobbies include fishing, reading and playing computer games.
Loves her pets (two dogs, two cats and a bird).
SINGLES RANKING HISTORY
2018 Nottingham WTA, WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai
2017 Kuala Lumpur WTA
2012 Sydney ITF, Mildura ITF, Nottingham ITF, Traralgon ITF
2018 Sydney WTA
2017 Birmingham WTA, Wuhan WTA
2012 Ipswich ITF, Esperance ITF
And that Fed Cup win…
“It’s the best feeling in the world, it really is. I’ve been able to have a little bit of a taste of it before. But certainly I said to Pri, to all the girls after the match, ‘How good is Fed Cup? How good is it playing for Australia?’” Barty said.
“These are the moments you remember for the rest of your life. You play a million matches on tour, but the best memories come from these Fed Cup weeks. It’s just really special that I’m able to be here.
“To play that last rubber with Pri was unreal.”
Watch out for this lady during 2019 – she is about to become a star.