Ash Barty in 2021: Wimbledon champion, Undisputed No 1, engaged
The Australian picked up 5 singles titles, including her second Grand Slam trophy in a year in which she left no questions unanswered
When Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open in February to win her second Grand Slam in a row, many questioned whether Ash Barty was the real world No 1. The Australian, never one to shoot her mouth off, let her racket do the talking. She fulfilled her life-long dream and triumphed at Wimbledon. Despite opting not to play after the US Open, Barty had done enough to wrap up the year-end No 1 ranking and was named Player of the Year by most media houses. Let’s take a look at Barty’s 2021 year in review.
- Barty’s ranking at the end of 2020: 1
- Barty’s ranking at the end of 2021: 1
- Barty’s 2021 win-loss record: 42-8
- Barty’s Titles: 5
Barty’s best Grand Slam result: Winning Wimbledon for the first time
Given the variety and her ability to play an all-court game, many were surprised that Barty’s first Grand Slam title came at the French Open. Barty’s game seems apt for the grass courts but it wasn’t until this year that she hit her stride at the All England Club.
After needing three sets to win her first round match over Carla Suarez Navarro, Barty won five matches in a row in straight sets, including a win over French Open champion Barobora Krejcikova.
After a semi-final win over Angelique Kerber, Ash Barty outplayed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to win Wimbledon in one of the best matches of the season. The win gave Barty her second Grand Slam title and fulfilled a lifelong dream for her.
Best moment of Barty’s season: Lifting the trophy, five times
Barty ended her season with five titles, which started with victory at the Yarra Valley Classic. The Ausse also picked up titles in Miami and Madrid before win at Wimbledon. She also won the Cincinnati event in August, making it a fruitful season for Barty.
Worst moment for Ash Barty: Losing in the first round of the Olympcs
After winning Wimbledon, Barty was the firm favourite for the singles gold at the Tokyo Olympics. But the Australian was surprisingly defeated in the very first round by Sara Sorribes Tormo, ranked 47th in the world. The Spaniard won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to dash Barty’s hopes for a medal.
Barty also lost in the quarter-final in the women’s doubles event but did manage to salvage some pride by winning the bronze medal in the mixed doubles event with partner John Peers.
Ash Barty off-the-court
Barty keeps a relatively low-profile away from the courts. The Australian did announce at the end of the season that she is engaged to golfer Garry Kissick The couple had been dating since 2017.
Barty’s season in her own words: Proud of my season
In 2020, Barty did not enter any tournaments due to the global pandemic. But in 2021, she got down to work as she and her team were away from home for a good six months. But 5 titles later, Barty was proud of the work that she and her team have put in.
I am proud I was able to finish the year at No. 1
“I am proud I was able to finish the year at No. 1, especially after the challenging and unpredictable season,” related Barty. “Being away from home for so long was really tough for not only me but my whole team, everyone made sacrifices which I’m very grateful for. We went into 2021 knowing it was going to be an adventure and it definitely was, I wouldn’t change it.”
Tennis Majors’ view
Barty is likely to be one of the most reliable top players on the women’s side in the years to come. With the absence of Serena Williams and the struggles of Naomi Osaka, Barty has racked up more than 100 weeks at the top of the rankings and we should see more of the same in 2022.
A win at her home Grand Slam in January 2022 would fulfil another life-long dream for Barty and move her three-quarters her way to a career Grand Slam.