Ash Barty’s Wimbledon run came to an end at the hands of Alison Riske. Picture: AFP
Ash Barty’s Wimbledon run came to an end at the hands of Alison Riske. Picture: AFP

Tournament where Barty is tipped to excel

Many experts believe Ash Barty's game is best suited to Wimbledon, but a couple of key figures, including an Australian great, beg to differ.

It's all about being in the right place at the right time and converting opportunities.

Ash Barty was remorseless in Paris, capitalising on virtually every chance to come her way and duly won the French Open.

At Wimbledon, a slightly different rule exists. It's about taking chances and half chances.

For three matches, Barty tapped seamlessly into title-winning currency.

Against screeching Alison Riske in the round, Barty's efficiency - and confidence - dipped.

She was also unusually passive, overly defensive.

On a grass court, it is a lethal mix, doomed to fail.

Riske, contrastingly, was relentlessly aggressive, winning 20 points at the net to Barty's eight.

The irony in Barty's colossal achievement over the past six weeks is that she excelled where she was expected to fail (Paris) and failed where she was expected to excel (Wimbledon).

While Nicole Pratt was actually the first tennis authority to nominate the French as the tournament Barty would win her maiden major, most others believe Wimbledon is her natural habitat.

 

“The sun’s still going to come up tomorrow...” Ash Barty at the press conference after her fourth round Wimbledon loss to Alison Riske. Picture: AP
“The sun’s still going to come up tomorrow...” Ash Barty at the press conference after her fourth round Wimbledon loss to Alison Riske. Picture: AP

 

The exceptions to that rule are Barty's coach Craig Tyzzer and Pat Cash.

They both believe the US Open is where Barty is best suited.

Her Miami Open victory in March featured victories over three top-10 players - Petra Kvitova (2), Kiki Bertens (8) and Karolina Pliskova (7) - in the same conditions Barty will find at the US Open.

With decent rest and an injury-free run to Flushing Meadows next month, Barty will be among the favourites.

And, once she rediscovers rhythm, she'll be primed for a powerful showing.

First, though, will be the business of coming to terms with opportunity lost at Wimbledon.

With the exception of Serena Williams, Barty had nothing to fear - apart from failure.

At 23, time is on her side.

When she returns to the All-England Club next year, the savage disappointment of 2019 will be both a spur and a building block.

News Corp Australia


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