Having checked off one of her top priorities for the year, Barty now looks to her second: Olympic gold. The world No. 1 will only have a few days to collect her thoughts on Wimbledon before doubling down and heading to Tokyo for her chance to become the first Australian player to win a singles gold medal in tennis. Only Alicia Molik has won an Olympic medal, collecting bronze in 2004. Winning gold is a dream Barty could just make a reality in the coming weeks.
“I’m extremely proud to be on my first Olympic team,” said Barty. “And I know we’re united, 490-odd Aussie Olympians going over as one team. I’m excited to be part of that. And I’m excited to do Australians proud, as every other athlete will. I’m certainly looking forward to that experience.”
It will be a quick turnaround for Barty, with the Olympics commencing on 24 July but as many have already noted, her form and physicality is at such peak conditions that if anyone can do it, it’s Barty. 2021 has not been an easy one for Barty. On the court we might see the success, but she had to make the decision to do things her way. After the Australian Open in February, Barty left the country and its heavy restrictions to go overseas, knowing she’d likely not return home for eight months.
“Of course, there are sacrifices, but I think everyone in their profession over the last 12 or 18 months have had to make sacrifices of some sort,” she said. “The world has changed, without a doubt, but I feel incredibly grateful.”
Barty went on to add: “Yes, the surroundings that we’re in at the moment with our bubbles and the quarantine and her rules and regulations are different, but it’s not any better or any worse. It kind of just is what it is. and it’s giving us an opportunity to do what we love. So there are certainly no complaints from me. But it’s this whole year has been an incredible, incredible adventure so far. We’ve still got a little bit to go, but we’re looking forward to all of it.”
Following Tokyo 2020, Barty will then head straight to the US Open, chasing what could be the third leg of a career Grand Slam of all four majors. Regardless, she’s already captivated the hearts of a nation and now, Aussie fans will continue cheering for the tennis star from afar.