Ashleigh Barty happy to ‘knuckle down’ and get back into routine ahead of Australian Open
It is nearly a year since Ashleigh Barty last played competitive tennis and, although the world No 1 “quite enjoyed that enforced break”, she is looking forward to returning to action.
Although the sport resumed in August, Barty decided not to compete during the remainder of the campaign as she opted to spend more time with her family at home.
The 2019 French Open champion – who heads into the Australian Open with decent odds that can be boosted with a Bet365 bonus code – admits the extended break away from tennis was good, but she really enjoyed “knuckling down” for pre-season, which started in early October.
“The first couple of months I barely picked up a racquet and quite enjoyed that forced break,” she told WTA Insider. “I found spending time with my family and all the things I have at home – I don’t need a lot to be happy. Tennis isn’t the only thing in the world that brings me happiness.
Being able to be in that beautiful place with my family, being at home, spending time with those that I love the most was absolutely more than enough for me. Having that perspective throughout the year was brilliant throughout the year.
Back to school 🎾📝 pic.twitter.com/UKVBAl8QO8
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) January 23, 2021
“I certainly did miss the competition. There were times we had to make some really tough decisions, but I feel like we made those tricky decisions for the right reasons. That’s all that matters. That made me feel a lot better knowing that my team, we are all on the same page. We believe in the same values and we know that if we make the right decisions for the right reasons then it’s all going to be ok in the end.
“Being able to then start moving into training and practice and start to knuckle down in the pre-season was enjoyable. I missed the routine and craved the training that had become so normal to me for so many years now.”
Barty has stepped up her preparations ahead of her return to competitive action in Melbourne next week followed by the season-opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open, from February 8-21.
“I think my body was a little bit shocked with the volume of hitting tennis balls. The training off-court I kept going all year and I found an eagerness to train again off the court,” the 24-year-old said about being able to return to court.
“When I wasn’t hitting tennis balls I found different ways to train and through different lockdown periods I found different ways to stay active. But the blisters on the hands and feet were the biggest things the first month back on court.”
Roger Federer sends fans crazy with a social media post ahead of his return to action
The moment Roger Federer fans have waited almost a years to see is nearly here as he prepares to return to action next week.
Garbine Muguruza into the final in Qatar after Victoria Azarenka pulls out
Victoria Azarenka withdrew ahead of the Qatar Total Open semi-finals to send Garbine Muguruza.
Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up showdown with Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam
Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Lawn Tennis Association determined to show commitment to inclusion and diversity
Seven people from diverse backgrounds have been appointed to the LTA Council.
Andy Murray’s tips on how to make sure you stay injury-free when tennis resumes after lockdown
Andy Murray is back with some tips.
WATCH: Kei Nishikori reveals he wanted to be a penguin when he was young
Kei Nishikori with some quality content.
‘He will play top-level tennis again because he is that good’ – Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return
Andy Murray on Roger Federer’s return.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 oldest WTA singles champions: Billie Jean King top, but Venus and/or Serena Williams could pip her
A look at your oldest WTA singles title winners.
Serena Williams and her ‘mini-me’ Olympia wear matching catsuits in debut joint fashion campaign
“The adventures of Serena and Olympia continue…”
WATCH: Benoit Paire argues with umpire, spits on mark, crashes out and then Tweets ‘it’s worth it to suck’
Benoit Paire makes controversial exit.