Exclusive – Ashleigh Barty deserves to be rewarded for her decision to leave home for so long

Kevin Palmer
Ashleigh Barty clapping

Barbara Schett believes world No 1 Ashleigh Barty has shown her commitment to the game by taking such an extended break from her Australian homeland and she believes she can be rewarded with another Grand Slam title at the French Open.

Barty left home in March and may not return until September due to Australia’s strict Covid-19 restrictions that require 14-days of quarantine for all incoming travellers. 

Barty has spoken of her anguish at leaving home for so long, but Eurosport presented and former world No.7 Schett is backing the 2019 French Open champion to shine at Roland Garros.

“It was very hard for Barty to leave Australia and understand that she is going to be away for so long,” Schett told us. “She won’t go back until the US Open and that is tough for her because we know how much of a home girl she is. 

“So she has played so well considering she is away from home for so long. She has won a couple of events, played well and deserves to be the world No.1 

“The next step will be winning another Grand Slam title, but she has barely played over the last year and when she has been on court, she has looked like the player to beat.”

Eurosport analyst Barbara Schett

Schett is picking defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek to shine in Paris once again, as she also identified a potential outside contender to lift the title. 

“Iga Swiatek and Ash Barty are the two to beat in Paris,” added Schett. “Maybe Aryna Sabalenka can get into the mix, but we don’t know if she can maintain her consistency over the course of two weeks, so this is why I would go for Swiatek and Barty to do well at the French Open.”

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