Ashliey Barty recently continued her journey of adding history to her books with the Australia’s highest sporting honour and is named in recognition of Sir, Donald Bradman, Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s inaugural inductee.
Barty, who retired from tennis about nine months ago in what could be described from most of her fans as unexpected, is just the third athlete to win the award on more than one occasion. The 26 year old scooped the Don Award after winning the Australian Open back in January and became the first Aussie woman to win the tournament since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Barty, surprisingly retired at 25 won 15 singles titles during her career, including three Grand Slams before her historic Australian Open win. She had won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021. She is the eight female player in history to win a major on three.
Ashliegh is also unique! She won 12 titles in doubles, including one described special, the US Open alongside CoCo Vandewighe in 2018. Two years later she claimed an Olympic medal at the 2020 Games with the Bronze alongside with her compatriot John Peers after Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic pulled out of the scheduled match to decide the third place.
The sensational Barty, en route to home soil grand slam title went all the way without dropping a single set. She beat Italians Lucia Bronzetti and Camila Giorgi in the second and third respectively. Before that she had smashed Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in complete demolition of 6-0 6-1.
In her phenomenal performance she brushed aside the remaining Americans, although she met a tough opponent in the final. The first was Amanda Anisimova followed by Jessica Pegula in the quarter- finals and Madison Keys in the semi- final. Danielle Collins, definitely the toughest opponent at her home soil at the tournament final based on the score line 6-3 7-6 which Barty triumphed to claim the title.
But just two months after winning the home soil grand slam title, the former world number one announced her retirement from tennis in an emotional interview with former doubles partner and good friend Casey Dellacqua.
While the former US Open double champion may have retired nine months ago her legacy continues to be honoured. And some pundits she could earn more recognitions in her future works and endeavours in life.