ICC World Cup: Aussies topple No 1 side England, celebrate win with No 1 tennis player
ICC World Cup: After beating the world no 1 ODI team, the Aussies hosted the newly crowned world No 1 woman tennis player in their dressing room.Updated: Jun 26, 2019 15:36 IST
After beating the world no 1 ODI team, the Aussies hosted the newly crowned world No 1 woman tennis player in their dressing room. Compatriot Ashleigh Barty, who surprised the tennis world with a triumph in the French Open, visited the team. The Australian star is currently the top ranked tennis player and has an inspiring story of her own. Australia made their entry into the semi-final of the ICC World Cup after trouncing the world’s top ODI side England at the home of cricket Lord’s. Captain Aaron Finch, who scored a century in the match, and his teammates gathered to host the surprise visitors.
Barty, who had turned professional in 2010, is enjoying a purple patch in her career currently. But there was a time when the Queensland-born player had lost all her interest in the sport.
Jaded with the constant travel and loneliness of being on tour, as well as the pressure from Australian fans desperate for Grand Slam success, Barty decided tennis was not for her.
She retired and in 2014 made the stunning announcement that she would instead play professional cricket in Brisbane, preferring a team sport over tennis’ gladiatorial ethos.
“There’s never a lonesome moment on the field if you’re struggling,” she said at the time. “There’s 10 other girls that can help you out and get you through the tough times.”
Barty played for the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League, scoring 39 runs from 27 deliveries on debut against the Melbourne Stars.
She eventually returned to tennis but credits her brief foray at the cricket crease with rekindling her love for the sport that has now made her a household name in Australia.
“I needed to take that time away,” she said after downing Sharapova.
“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.”
Barty maintains a keen interest in cricket and said after winning in the third round that she planned to watch a one-day match between Australia and India at the neighbouring Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“Ice bath, physio, coffee, cricket -- I’m good,” she said when asked about her post-match plans.
First Published: Jun 26, 2019 14:35 IST