Ashleigh Barty ready for ‘fresh start’ as she kicks off Roland Garros preparation
Her last meaningful interaction at Roland Garros was back in 2019 when she held aloft the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, but Ashleigh Barty insists she won’t approach this year’s French Open thinking she is the defending champion.
Barty won her only Grand Slam to date two years ago when she defeated Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets on the Parisian clay.
She didn’t travel to Roland Garros last year as she opted to sit out the second half of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, watching from Australia as Iga Swiatek won her maiden major.
The world No 1, though, will return to Paris this year and is looking forward to a “fresh start”.
“It’s a long time since I’ve played at the French Open,” she said. “It’s a fresh start, a fresh start for everyone at that event.”
She added: “If you go into a tournament thinking you’re defending your title, it’s the wrong way to approach it. It’s a fresh tournament, and it’s a new opportunity.”
Proud of our week in Miami 🏆 #10
But it’s never a nice way to finish a match… Wishing Bianca a speedy recovery! The first of many matches for us I’m sure! pic.twitter.com/IE3zGGgNF6
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) April 3, 2021
Her “fresh start” on clay gets underway at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart this week and she heads into the tournament in decent form as she successfully defended her Miami Open title at the start of April and also reached the quarter-final in Charleston last week.
“From the outside it’s judged on results, which can be accurate,” she said.
“There have been times I’ve felt I’ve been in great form but haven’t been winning matches and vice versa. Other ones when I haven’t been able to find anything close to the middle of the racket but you find a way through matches.”
“It’s important not to be completely results driven when you’re thinking of your form.”
Andy Murray gives positive assessment of week in Rome, saying ‘I’m happy I came over here’
Murray has been practising with top players.
Rafael Nadal saves two match points as he battles back from the brink against Denis Shapovalov
The Spaniard was far from his best against Shapovalov.
Coco Gauff savours Aryna Sabalenka victory, insists ‘I have no pressure’ ahead of Ashleigh Barty clash
“It will be great to see where my level is,” says Gauff.
‘It wasn’t fun. It was kind of brutal for me,’ admits Iga Swiatek after tough win over Barbora Krejcikova
Iga Swiatek saved two match points in Rome.
Major coup for Emilia-Romagna Open as Serena Williams changes plans and adds event to her schedule
Serena Williams off to Parma next week.
‘It was nice to see them back,’ says Novak Djokovic as fans return to watch him win at Italian Open
Another win for Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open.
Matteo Berrettini’s improvement paying off as Italian recaptures good form in 2021
Oli Jefford explains why Matteo Berrittini has the potential become one of the biggest names in tennis.
‘It’s just a matter of time’ before she will be ‘raring to go’ on clay, says Serena Williams
“It is what it is,” says Serena Williams.
Rafael Nadal gives his verdict on ‘complete player’ Jannik Sinner after Italian Open victory
“He’s still improving all the time,” says Nadal about Sinner.
‘It’s a special win,’ says Nadia Podoroska after upsetting Serena Williams at Italian Open
Williams was playing the 1,000 match of her career.