‘I’ll never forget’ – Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty on Serena Williams’ role in her heyday

The year 2022 has seen many big names say goodbye to the sport of tennis. Earlier this year, Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty shocked the entire tennis fraternity with her decision to quit after winning the Australian Open title. In addition, the local hero, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made his moving farewell to Roland-Garros. Recently, Serena Williams also announced that this month’s US Open will be the last tournament of her professional career.

During their heyday, Serena and Barty clashed on several occasions. As Serena nears retirement, Barty recalled her battles against the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

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Ashleigh Barty feels lucky to play against Serena Williams

During an interview, the Aussie star opened up about his matches against younger sister Williams. She said, “The first one [time] I was a very young girl who was intimidated. The second time I thought I had a chance and I did.

Moreover, she added, “But the way she plays and her height were too good for me. I would have loved to give myself one last challenge. It’s my competitive spirit and I learn from the experiences I’ve had.

Veteran U.S. tennis player Serena Williams returns a ball during her match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Cole Burston

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Feeling lucky to have had the chance to play against Serena, Barty said: “Not many people on this planet can say they’ve played Serena and I’m one of those rare people who really got to experience her when she was at her best. And I think that was really exciting. C It is a memory and an experience that I will never forget and from which I have learned a lot.

Barty vs. Serena

During their career, the two faced each other three times. While Serena prevailed twice, their last meeting at the Melbourne 500 Yarra Valley in 2021 ended in surprise for the Aussie star.

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They first faced each other at the 2014 Australian Open where Serena defeated Barty in straight sets. In addition, they met again in 2018 at Roland-Garros. However, this time around Serena had to dig deep for her win, beating Barty in three sets.


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