|2019 French Open odds||$19||$26||$21|
|2019 Wimbledon odds||$15||$23||$26|
|2019 US Open odds||$21||$34||$29|
|2020 Australian Open odds||$19||$19||–|
Most people rate Nick Kyrgios as Australia’s best hope of winning a grand slam in the next decade.
Others see Ashleigh Barty as a much better bet.
The young Queenslander has gone from strength to strength since returning to tennis in 2016 and looks poised for a breakout season on the WTA Tour.
Her campaign for grand slam success starts at Melbourne Park – home of the Australian Open.
Can Ashleigh Barty win the Australian Open?
Although Barty turned pro in 2010 at the age of 14, a two-year absence from the game means she is playing catchup on the rest of the tour.
However, the potential for greatness is obvious.
Ash is a natural sportsman who combines power and pace with an array of strokes that few of her contemporaries can match.
She is raw and needs to develop the tactical side of her game, but that will come with time on the circuit.
Watch this space.
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More about Ashleigh Barty
- Ashleigh Barty is the latest top prospect to emerge from the Tennis Queensland production line. She was born and raised in Ipswich, where she grew up with sisters Ali and Sara. Father Robert hails from the Ngarigo people and mother Josie is of English descent.
Ash excelled in most athletic pursuits as a youngster. Her focus turned to tennis in her pre-teen years and in 2009 she made her debut on the ITF junior tour at age 13. The following year she reached five tournament finals in a row and took up professional status.
Barty’s breakthrough on the junior circuit came in 2011 when she won the girls’ singles at the Wimbledon Championships. That triumph included a third-round win over Madison Keys. The young Australian also went close at the US Open that year, losing to top seed Caroline Garcia in the semi-finals.
It was around this time that Barty began to establish a foothold on the pro circuit. Her impressive form the season prior brought about wildcard entries into the Brisbane International, the Hobart International and the Australian Open in 2012. A spot in the main draw at the French Open followed, shortly after which she claimed her maiden pro title in the ITF event at Nottingham.
Ash continued to climb the ranks in 2013, a year in which she and Casey Dellacqua were losing finalists in the doubles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. She looked poised for a breakout year on the singles circuit in 2014, but injury troubles and indifferent results saw her step away from tennis altogether at the end of the season.
Instead, Barty switched a racquet for a bat and turned her attention to cricket. She started training with the Queensland Fire in 2015 and was soon starring in the Women’s National Cricket League, where her all-round performances led to a contract with the Brisbane Heat for the 2015/16 Women’s Big Bash League.
One season in the WBBL was enough. Ash returned to tennis in 2016, even making it as far as the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon. She announced her arrival in earnest the following year with career-best runs at the Australian Open and the US Open, reaching the third round at both events.
Barty may be small at 166cm, but the tennis world is expecting big things. Commentators have noted her powerful and inventive strokeplay from all positions on the court, with some even drawing comparisons to Swiss superstar Martina Hingis.
Name: Ashleigh Barty Born: 24 April, 1996 in Ipswich, Queensland Height: 166cm Turned pro: 2010 Style: Right-handed, two-hand backhand Career WTA titles: 2 Best grand slam result: Fourth round (2018 US Open) 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Australian Open – R1 R1 R1 – – R3 R3 QF French Open – R1 R2 R1 – – R1 R2 Wimbledon – R1 Q1 Q3 – Q2 R1 R3 US Open Q1 – R2 R1 – – R3 R4
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