Q&A: Ashleigh Barty
Originally published on: 05/03/13 00:00
At this stage in your career is your focus more on performing well and improving rather than winning and rankings?
Yes, definitely. You want to go out there and feel good and feel healthy, that’s one of the most important things. Making sure you’re able to play week in and week out. So, you know, if I can stay healthy this whole year it will be a bonus and hopefully if I go out there with a good attitude eventually you’ll get a nice draw and the results will come.
Last year most of your schedule was based in Australia. Because you’re still so young do you think it’s important to be close to home?
Yes and no. Last year apart from the Slams I was at home a lot, especially at the start of the year, of course, with the Australian summer. Then towards the end of the year we decided to stay at home for a little bit longer and I had some good results in the 25ks and got a lot of matches so that was important leading into this year. But this season is a lot different. I’ll be playing overseas a lot more so, you know, it will just be getting more and more experiences and even though I’ll have to take a few [losses] on the chin that’s what you do and that’s how you learn.
Do you get homesick?
Eh, not really. Not anymore. I used to when I was a lot younger, when I first started travelling at 13 I got really homesick but now I’m kind of used to it and it’s just part of my life now.
Are you finished with junior tournaments now?
You know, for me my focus is on the WTA now. I will use junior tournaments if I need matches or if I want to gain some confidence. I’ve had success in juniors and that’s what I wanted to do. I got to No. 2 in the world in juniors but it was never a focus for me to get to No. 1. People ask me ‘do you want to try and get to No. 1’ and to me it means nothing. Right now I just have to continue to make that transition to WTA events.
What’s the most difficult thing about moving out of juniors to the pros?
I think it’s just a long process. You just got to keep working hard. For me it feels like I’m kind of on the edge, just knocking on the door a little bit. I’ve got a lot of developing to do as a player and a person and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.
To read Ashleigh Barty: Rising Star, in which the 16-year-old talks to us about dealing with expectations, staying grounded and how there’s no better feeling than representing your country, get your hands on the April issue of tennishead Australia, in stores next week.