Tennis News: After a fifth consecutive year in which the women’s Grand Slams were all won by different players, World No. 1 Ash Barty lauded the breadth of talent in women’s tennis.
Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open in 2021, Barbora Krejcikova won at Roland Garros in 2021, and Great Britain discovered a new global superstar in Emma Raducanu with her amazing run to the US Open title in 2021.
There was also a new winner at the WTA Finals, with Garbine Muguruza triumphing, as well as a new gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, with Belinda Bencic.
Barty remarked before of her play at the Adelaide International, one of the Australian Open’s warm-up events: “Every year, regardless of who is in what position on the ranking list, new competitors emerge.
“Girls really stepped up and were able to play really consistent seasons, which is fantastic to see for the women’s game, and there were a lot of breakout years through 2021.
“There is genuine depth, and you must consistently bring your best to be able to compete with everyone and give yourself a chance to win the big titles.”
Barty also emphasised the value of participating in warm-up tournaments early in the season, such as the one in Adelaide, especially after the 25-year-old withdrew from the WTA Finals and the Billie Jean King Cup at the end of last year.
“It’s a completely another animal. You simply have to appreciate it and work your way through it in the first few weeks because you don’t always play your best tennis right away “Barty remarked.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to find my groove, which starts here in Adelaide, and I’m excited to be back on the match court.”
Barty will play the winner of the first-round tie between 17-year-old Coco Gauff of the United States and Norwegian qualifier Ulrikke Eikeri in the second round of the Adelaide International.
The Australian Open began on January 17 in Melbourne.
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