Ashleigh Barty, who strips down many of her trophies and gives the crooks to friends to recycle for juniors at a Brisbane club, writes any type of story Australian tennis badly needs at the moment.
While various stars with the men’s game here, faded and flickering, former and current, embarrass themselves on a nearly day to day by bickering in public places over private rows, the 22-year-old Queenslander together with the open smile and rock-solid game has become quietly working her way to the fourth round in the Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova ends Caroline Wozniacki’s Australian Open defence
She beat the exciting Greek prospect, Maria Sakkari, 7-5, 6-1 on Friday and plays the 2008 champion, Maria Sharapova, on Sunday. Later, she politely averted the inevitable questions about allegations by Lleyton Hewitt that Bernard Tomic had threatened him and his awesome family for freezing him out from the Davis Cup team. Tomic denies the claim. Nick Kyrgios and the like have been ducking for cover. To make sure very unsavoury.
“I have no knowledge of what is happening,” she said. “There absolutely are a million stories going around grand slam time because there are countless players, there are numerous matches, there are so many amazing stories. From my standpoint, it is a secret positive week.”
Barty are going to have the continent cheering her on against Sharapova, who went within the third round to Angelique Kerber to be with her return here during the past year after her drugs suspension, but has looked returning to near her best now. The Russian, 30th in the world following a quiet 2018, had two easy wins then wanted to fight harder on Friday to outweigh the defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
After couple of hours and 20 minutes, Wozniacki gifted Sharapova match point having a double fault, although the Russian got anxious from a long rally and wasted the chance using a loose forehand. She wasn’t so profligate with the next opportunity and there was little the globe No 3 could do about her withering, angled backhand.
Wozniacki could be the highest-ranked opponent Sharapova has beaten since her first-round victory over Simona Halep along at the US Open in 2017, her first grand slam match since her ban. We have seen a froideur between the two players since Wozniacki was highly critical of Sharapova’s welcome by tournament organisers on her behalf come back to the tour, leading to the Russian’s agent describing Wozniacki as “a journeyman”. Nine months later, the Dane won her first slam in Melbourne.
After defeat inside the first match backward and forward since Sharapova’s 15-month suspension, Wozniacki said of their frosty relationship: “Our terms overlap with they may have been. She doesn’t communicate with anybody and has her team and possesses her very own thing. And that is exactly that. I truly do my own, personal thing. I’ve my guys, which is that. I am on tour. We’ve been competitors. The two of us try our hardest when we’re around on court.”
Wozniacki, who recently revealed she is struggling with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms symptoms, said the damp weather would not noticeably affect her game. “I feel happy. I gave it everything I had. Dont wish to blame it on anything. She just a little bit far better than me today.”
Sharapova also flat-batted questions about her edgy relationship with Wozniacki. “I just really love winning. I’m just really happy and out from generate income competed today with this particular to the fourth round. So that’s the only goal.”
Of the match-up with Barty, she added: “I recognize that it’s going to be a tough crowd, but I go forth here to perform and play tennis. For this reason the nets go up, and then we can compete. I really enjoy that opportunity.”