Make no mistake, she’s a determined and disciplined athlete. After her chilled-out cappuccino, Ash heads to the court for a hitting session, followed by a strength and conditioning workout. But building self-care into her routine is how the French Open winner and Rado YoungStar keeps her physical and mental game on point.
“I make sure I have balance,” she explains. “I try and get home to see my family and friends whenever I have an opportunity. The amount of time we spend on the road as tennis players is tough, and for someone who loves home as much as I do, I make trips back to Australia a priority.”
Similar to Liz, it’s a lesson Ash learnt early in her career. As a rising star in her teens, she famously walked away from the game in 2014 to rest, recharge, and give a cricket a swing, citing the gruelling pro tour circuit for her shock withdrawal.
The “Barty Break”, as it’s now known, not only saw Ash successfully dodge burnout, but come back to tennis two years later an even more formidable force. “Playing multiple sports has given me perspective and a greater understanding of the challenges different athletes face,” she says. “Being part of the team environment in cricket was something I thoroughly enjoyed and I made some close friends who I still stay in touch with today.”
These days, Ash’s dream team is a support squad who travel with her on the pro tour. “Having a great team of people around me who I love spending time with on the road helps enormously,” she admits. So, too, does the love she receives from the Aussie sporting community. “We’re all very supportive of one another – I love seeing the cricket girls and other athletes do well,” she says. “I believe we should all support and celebrate one another – it’s fantastic for sport when we do!”
When she’s not cheering on her mates, Ash will be drinking her coffee, walking her dogs when she can, and quietly focusing on world (tennis) domination.
“For me, it’s the journey, not the destination, I’m enjoying the most.”