On that Sunday, Ashley Party raised something that, like last fall, stunned the tennis community. In Fall 2020, the 24-year-old was pictured holding beer in hand, as a huge fan of Richmond Tigers, she supported her favorite team on the field during the final series of the Australian Football League. That was totally fine. But also strange.
At the same time, the French Open was held in Paris, which Barty won a year ago. This was her first Grand Slam title, which is not followed to this day, for one simple reason: Barty did not participate in any other tournaments despite the tennis tour’s resumption. Uncomfortable with the global coronavirus situation, she withdrew and lived more than that. Some people in Europe might ask themselves: What are they doing in Australia? After all, it was then and still is ranked first in the world ranking, and this is also due to strange special rules in times of a pandemic. So since Sunday, when Barty holds a cup in the shape of a baked wombat, the scene has known: She’s kept in shape.
As if she hadn’t played her last tournament at the end of February 2020, she showed her usually versatile tennis last week, winning the Yarra Valley Classic final in Melbourne 7: 6 (3), 6: 4 against Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza and then quietly said: “I’m going To the Australian Open well, I’m ready. ” Who would have thought that after all the quarantine stage of the last few weeks, there would be a sporting success story of this kind soon before the start of the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne Park on Monday?
With her ninth singles title, Barty is suddenly back in the favorites circle, though it’s unclear how big that circle is. Many senior professionals withdrew during the three preparatory tournaments held in Melbourne, such as Serena Williams (USA) and Victoria Asarenka (Belarus). It remains unclear if this was for tactical reasons, to protect yourself, or whether the injuries actually occurred. In any case, Rafael Nadal was really injured, the Spaniard had completely abstained from playing in the ATP Cup due to a blockage in the back, and he made it clear on Sunday that he had just started trying again. Nadal will face Serbian Laslo Djeri in the first round on Tuesday. He said, “I don’t think about not playing,” but he also admitted, “I’ve suffered for the last 15 days.”