Published: Thu, January 23, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Australian Open 2020: Ashleigh Barty’s classy gesture for former teammate wins hearts

Australian Open 2020: Ashleigh Barty’s classy gesture for former teammate wins hearts

On Thursday, Ashleigh Barty along with her German partner and veteran, Julia Goerges defeated Australian pair Jessica Moore and Astra Sharma 6-2, 6-3 under the roof at the Melbourne Arena and qualified for the next round of the Australian Open doubles category.

Ash Barty was going to stitch up Casey Dellacqua.

Barty said she's handling the expectations better with each Grand Slam event. "It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament", she said. Obviously today was really special and it was nice having you right there and staring at me at every change of ends. I didn't know if he was or not.

"This is a professional environment now... actually I will let you tell the crowd what you were going to do to me if we ever got this moment".

The retired tennis player's colleague Cam Williams minutes later revealed Barty had been texting Dellacqua the night before jokingly threatening to "kill the interview".

Ahead of her first doubles match, Ashleigh Barty was seen practising an National Football League style throw, a video of which was shared by the Australian Open on its Twitter handle.

Co-presenter Rebecca Maddern responded by saying the one-word stonewall answer was a "journo's worst nightmare". The victor to face Barty on Wednesday.

Where can I get tickets for Ashleigh Barty vs Polona Hercog? .

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Where can I stream Ashleigh Barty vs Polona Hercog in the United Kingdom?

Barty praised her "team" after she won her first major at the French Open last June; she made another mention of her "team" when she climbed to the world number one ranking a few weeks later.

"Regardless of the score at the end of the day, I'll go out there and leave it all out there". She is one of the few sportspersons to have professionally played cricket as well as tennis.

It was a crucial hold as the Australian landed the first break of the second set in the following game and fended off further break points to book her place in the third round after 68 minutes.

The World No. 3 dropped and kicked her racquet after losing serve in the second set, an unusually emotional display from the softly-spoken Japanese player.

Barty has earned plaudits for her level-headed attitude throughout her meteoric rise to the top and she illustrated it once again when asked whether an Australian champion would be fitting after the bushfire crisis.

Preparing to next face either Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina or Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, Barty hit 16 winners to Hercog's 12, but was much cleaner off the ground with only 16 unforced errors to Hercog's 30.

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