Ash Barty’s Australian Open dream came to an end on Thursday afternoon when she lost to American Sofia Kenin, 7-6, 7-5 in front of an expectant home crowd.
But coming off court she hugged her baby niece Olivia, finding “perspective” in the recent family arrival and then bringing her to a packed post-match press conference.
“It’s my newest niece, my sister just had her, 11 or 12 weeks ago,” Barty said as she sat down.
“Perspective is a beautiful thing, life is a beautiful thing,” she said.
“She brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court. I got to give her a hug, and it’s all good. It’s all good.”
Barty entered the semi-final match on Thursday hoping to become the first Australian woman in 40 years to make an Australian Open Final.
“I think today was a match where I didn’t feel super comfortable,” Barty said. “I feel like my first plan wasn’t working I couldn’t execute the way that I wanted, so I try to go to B and C, and I think I had to try dig and find a way.”
“I’ve learnt so much over the past month. I’ve learnt so much from all of the experiences that I’ve been thrown into, I’ve loved every minute.”
When asked what it feels like to be ranked first in the world, Barty said besides occasionally getting to play on the best courts and having a little more attention from the media, not much had changed in her world.
“Nothing’s really changed, for me or my team, we’re trying to chip away every single day to get better as people and better as players and it just so happens that we’ve got the number one ranking to the name on the draw,” she said.
When baby Olivia let out a cry mid press conference, Barty gave a laugh and said ‘I feel you, sister!”
Barty also said that despite the many expectations the media has piled on her, she never felt pressure from others to win.
“The expectations didn’t exist. You guys spoke about them quite a lot, I felt like I answered a lot of questions without knowing the answer. For me I’ve just tried to go about my business the same every single day regardless if I was 50 in the world, 100 or one in the world.”