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Aus Open: How WBBL helped Ashleigh Barty beat Maria Sharapova

January 21, 2019 12:58 IST

Ashleigh Barty played for Melbourne Heat in the Women's Big Bash League

IMAGE: Ashleigh Barty played for Melbourne Heat in the Women's Big Bash League. Photograph: Melbourne Heat/Twitter

Australia tennis player Ashleigh Barty, who reached the quarter-finals of ongoing Australian Open, once turned her hands to cricket and represented Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) season.

 

Barty became the first Australian woman after Jelena Dokic to make the Australian Open quarter-final, defeating Russian tennis legend Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Barty, who played nine games in the first WBBL, had taken a break from tennis for 18 months in 2014 and said her time away from the game has made her a better tennis player.

"I needed to take that time away. For me, having that 18 months off was vital. I feel like I came back a better person on and off the court, a better tennis player," ICC quoted Barty, as saying.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates victory over Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday 

IMAGE: Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates victory over Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

"There has never a lonesome moment on the cricket field if you are struggling. There are 10 other girls that can help you out and get you through the tough times," she had said after signing for Heat.

Barty's best performance for Heat came against Melbourne Stars, scoring a quickfire 39 off 27 balls. She went onto amass 68 runs in seven innings in the tournament before switching her focus back to tennis.

She had won the US Open doubles title with USA’s CoCo Vandeweghe last year.

Source: ANI
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