Ashleigh Barty Honours Her Fans After Thrilling Victory At Adelaide International

Ashleigh Barty has progressed into the next round of the Adelaide International after seeing off opponent Coco Gauff.

The world number one secured her first victory of the year on home soil after a thrilling match between her and the US star.

Barty lost the first game and faced a huge challenge in the second to win one back, but she came out on top in the third with a landslide 6-1 triumph, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 overall.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a lengthy break away from the court, having last appeared at the US Open back in September. She exited the tournament in the third round at the hands of USA’s Shelby Rogers.

Barty’s resilience puts her in good stead for the rest of the tournament, especially leading up to the Australian Open later month.

The Queensland-born tennis star will be eager to go all the way in her native Grand Slam this year and win it for the first time in her career.

“I felt like I got better and better as the match went on,” Barty said after the match, paying homage to her fans in Adelaide. “Once you guys raised your voice a little bit it was a lot of fun.”

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Barty’s best result at the Australian Open saw her reach the semi-finals, where she was eventually knocked out by eventual winner Sofia Kenin.

However, with the emergence of young stars like Gauff and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu, the pressure is on for players like Barty to keep their status in the world rankings.

More and more youngsters are bursting onto the scene, eager to show their worth against some of the biggest athletes on the planet. 

In fact, doubles legend Pam Shriver recently admitted she believes the Aussie will lose her spot at the top of the tree this year.

“I think there will be a new number one,” she told WTA Insider. “I’m not exactly sure whom, but I think Ash has had a great run and I think it could be somebody in the top five.”

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Barty has been the world number one for almost 102 consecutive weeks, after rounding off her 2019 season as the leader of the pack. Between then and now, there has been only four weeks Barty has not occupied the top spot.

But the Aussie’s focus remains in the here and now, and what she can do to maintain her number one status and win more major tournaments.

After her win over Gauff, fellow Australian Jelena Dokic heaped praise on Barty’s resilient performance.

“This could be the key to her summer and the Australian Open.”

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