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Ashleigh Barty claims being No. 1 is not what makes her happy, says "tennis results are very low on the priority list"

Ashleigh Barty at the Miami Open
Ashleigh Barty at the Miami Open
Modified 31 Mar 2021

By beating Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Miami Open on Tuesday, Ashleigh Barty moved one step closer to ensuring that she cannot lose the No. 1 ranking this week.

Barty now only needs to beat Elina Svitolina in the semifinals on Thursday to seal the deal. If the Australian manages to reach the final, Naomi Osaka cannot attain the No. 1 ranking even if she wins the Floridian event.

During her press conference after her win over Sabalenka, Barty was asked if maintaining the top spot would serve as extra motivation when she takes the court against Svitolina. But the 24-year-old answered in the negative, and claimed that her ranking never has a say on her mood.

"Ah, no, not by any means (No. 1 spot being extra motivation in the semis)," Barty said. "It's an amazing thing to be number one in the world at the moment. But I promise you, that's not what makes me happy. No, that's not what makes me a happy person. So whether I'm number one, I'm number 10, or I'm anything in between, or, or whatever number it is. That number for me doesn't determine if I'm a happy person or a happy tennis player."

Ashleigh Barty has often spoken about the importance of being happy both on and off the court. And when she was asked to provide more insight into that mantra, the World No. 1 claimed that she feels happy when she is able to give her best and at the same time grow on the personal and professional front.

"What does being happy mean? To me, I think it's a very simple one," Ashleigh Barty said. "I try and do the best that I can every day in every aspect of my life. And I try and grow every day I try and learn every day. And whether that's you know, knowledge from playing tennis or kind of world knowledge or whatever it is, I just want to try and improve as a person every day."

Ashleigh Barty also went on to assert that her on-court results feature 'very low' on her priority list of things that can brighten up her day.

"And certainly, tennis results are very low on the priority list for what does make me happy," the 24-year-old added. "Of course, you go through highs and lows as a tennis player, as an athlete, but ultimately, I'm just trying to be the best that I can be and live my life to the fullest and learn from all of my experiences and not sweat the small stuff."

I have to bring my very best to beat Elina Svitolina: Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty last faced Elina Svitolina at the 2019 WTA Finals
Ashleigh Barty last faced Elina Svitolina at the 2019 WTA Finals

During her media interaction, Ashleigh Barty was also asked to give her thoughts about Elina Svitolina as a potential semifinal opponent. Svitolina, who has defeated Barty five times in her career, was yet to play her quarterfinal at the time, but is now confirmed as the Australian's semifinal opponent.

Barty elaborated on her difficult rivalry with the Ukrainian, while also highlighting Svitolina’s remarkable run at the Miami Open.

"Obviously, against Svitolina, we've had some exceptional battles in a big tournament," Ashleigh Barty said. "And, you know, I think that that test will be no different. You know, another big match, and she's figured our way out through this draw very well. Obviously, there's another hurdle to go tonight. But, you know, if if I do play her, it's another battle, I have to bring my very best to beat her."
Published 31 Mar 2021, 16:28 IST
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