Ashleigh Barty is an Australian tennis player who is famous for using a throwback style, filled with volleys, slices, lobs and intelligent shot placement.
Barty is also well-known for her athletic versatility, having briefly switched to professional cricket for a couple of years. Today, she is Australia's best hope of Grand Slam success in both singles and doubles, having already won one Major - the women's doubles title at the 2018 US Open.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 3rd Round (2017, 2018)
French Open: 2nd Round (2013, 2018)
Wimbledon: 3rd Round (2018)
US Open: 4th Round (2018)
Highest Ranking: No. 16
Style of play
Barty plays old-school tennis composed of an equal mix of offense and defense. She doesn't hit the ball as hard as her peers, especially off the backhand side, but she uses variations in pace and spin to unsettle her opponents.
Barty frequently comes to the net, and is adept at hitting volleys. She also uses the backhand slice liberally, keeping the ball low off that wing to elicit errors from her opponents.
Strengths and weaknesses
Barty's court sense is her biggest strength. She is a strategic player who knows how to outmaneuver her opponents, and her chess-like game can give headaches to even the most experienced of players.
The Australian has a multi-faceted forehand which she can roll deep crosscourt and also hit flat down the line. Her two-handed backhand is used mainly as a rally shot; it is consistent and deep, even if it lacks a bit of pace.
Barty's backhand slice is a major weapon, both in offense and defense. She can hit short slices to draw her opponents to the net, or hit sharply angled ones to pull them wide, or even hit low biting ones which she follows into the net.
Barty has a decent serve and also moves well around the court. She is an exceptional volleyer, and is capable of keeping up the pressure on her opponents with her relentless forays to the net.
Barty's biggest, and possibly only, weakness is her relative lack of firepower. She can get hit off the court by bigger opponents, and is forced to scramble all over the court plenty of times.
Barty was born in Ipswich, Australia, and has partially indigenous background. Her father Robert is a Ngarigo Indigenous Australian, while mother Josie is an Australian of English origin.
Barty started playing tennis at the age of four. She had an impressive junior career, winning the 2011 Wimbledon girls' singles title and reaching as high as World No. 2.
The Australian tasted immediate success, in doubles, upon becoming a pro; she reached multiple Grand Slam finals in the year 2013 with Casey Dellacqua. However, she grew disillusioned with the rigors of the sport, and in 2014 announced that she would be taking a break from tennis.
In a remarkable turn of events, Barty then proceeded to play competitive cricket, representing Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League. She returned to tennis in 2016, after realizing that she missed the sport too much.
Since then, Barty has steadily climbed up the ladder in both singles and doubles on the WTA tour. She has also been spreading awareness about the need for more indigenous participation in tennis, and is currently the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador.
Social media presence:
Ashleigh Barty Instagram: @ashbar96
Ashleigh Barty Twitter: @ashbar96