as Ash Party In a survey of Melbourne Park on Monday, a relatively new gem in the country’s tennis home has emerged as completely foreign to the Australian Open champion. Slightly shivering in the shade in the spot of its victory in eliminating the drought in January, former World No. 1 marveled at how amazing the site was when it was completely empty.
The People’s Court in particular caught the attention of Barty who, to name a few, missed some aspects of the tennis tour but not enough to consider a professional comeback.
The new stadium is where Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokinakis, her two youngsters, staged a frenzy on their way to winning the doubles title at the Australian Open in January. The fact that Barty never watched the court, even though Melbourne Park is her actual property, provides another example of why her days on the ring are behind her.
As the hope of a nation and the world’s best tennis player, the Wimbledon winner navigated between Rod Laver and tennis courts through a maze of tunnels in January. Life inside Barty’s bubble proved crucial to her success in breaking the drought, but it also meant that much of the outside world was closed off, a fact of life she never really enjoyed in the ring.
“I don’t remember the last time I walked on the subway here. I am totally amazed at how it has changed,” she said. “How all the area around Show Court Three has changed. I’ve never seen a Grand Slam Oval before. I haven’t seen it in full swing before. I have never lived up to the level where the audience and the audience see the championship. It’s different. very different.”
If Barty’s only focus was on success between the baselines, she would most likely be in Fort Worth, Texas, this week to compete for the WTA Finals title she took in 2019. The Billie Jean King Cup alongside teammates including Agla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders .
But the complacency that drove her to a stunning retirement in March didn’t change. “I miss competing and challenging myself against the best in the world [but] “I don’t miss much that comes with it,” she said.
“Now I am probably used to challenging myself in different ways and seeing how I can be motivated in another way, seeing how I can compete in another way, how I can grow otherwise. And I think doing that at home now is really fun.”
The Brisbane resident, who loves time at home as “Auntie Ash” as an active babysitter for her siblings, doesn’t keep a close eye on the results. But she marvels at the year her successor to the crown, Iga Swiatek, has enjoyed, and believes that the Polish star she considers her friend is capable of greater things in the future.
“It’s a breath of fresh air and I’ve completely and completely taken control of this season,” said Barty. “She was at a higher level, a head above the rest, and it was amazing to see her flourish.”
Monday was the 26-year-old’s second return to Melbourne Park since becoming the first Australian to win his home championship in 44 years. In June, she and her former coaches Craig Teeser and Jason Stoltenberg met Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tilley discusses a training initiative they have high hopes for.
She is in high demand in the corporate speaking circle and she enjoys picking the brains of CEOs while teaching them teamwork and resilience. Queenslander and her team are also finalizing their foundation, which will focus on Indigenous communities among other aspirations.
Some in her camp believe she would be well suited for a role with a national team given the leadership skills she continues to enhance. Tyzzer thinks she’d be a great coach. In the past few weeks, she’s been on the court with 20-year-old Queensland talent Olivia Jadeke from the Gold Coast, who is now finding her feet in the professional ring.
Barty is currently in the midst of a promotional tour for her autobiography, My Dream Time. This takes her across Australia, which included her second visit to Melbourne Park since January. She was heading to GMHBA Stadium, the home of AFL Premier Geelong, on Monday night before returning to Melbourne for a party at The Athenaeum on Tuesday night.
Barty will return to Melbourne Park again in January for the Australian Open, but not to defend the title. There are other challenges now. But she is adamant that she did not lose tennis, only in the professional ring.
“I’m finishing what we’re going to do,” she said, “but, yeah, it’s cool.” “It’s crazy to think there’s only two months left, honestly. It’s been a year. But we’ll be here for the chops and bobs.”