Ash Barty covers Vogue Australia, talks about the pandemic & playing in a bubble

Ash Barty doesn’t get the same kind of attention as other tennis stars, like Emma Raducanu, Serena Williams or Naomi Osaka. Part of that is because Ash Barty doesn’t invite that kind of “celebrity” for herself, and part of it is that – I feel – many sponsors aren’t quite sure how to market her. She’s very matter-of-fact, with a workmanship-like approach to tennis, and she doesn’t enter into controversies or scandals. Nor is she interested in being supermodel-y either. Anyway, I f–king love her. She’s refreshing, good, normal and down-to-earth. She’s also fashioned a remarkable career for herself at the age of 25 – she’s been world #1 for more than two full years and she’s won two Slams, including last year’s Wimbledon title. And now she’s gotten her first Vogue Australia cover. Ash must have refused to wear her hair down for the editorial, which is on-brand for Ash. Some highlights:

Tennis in a pandemic: “Looking back now, if anyone had said to us in March of 2020 that this is what the next 18 months is going to look like for you and the rest of the world, I think you would have to smile, you’d have to laugh, you’d probably have to cry a bit and think, ‘these are the cards we’ve been dealt.’ In my personal adventure this last year, I feel like we’ve made the most of it.”

Being unable to go home to Australia for seven months last year: “Once I was able to let go and accept it was going to be a year unlike any other, it was all about enjoying the adventure. And accepting everything for what it was and trying to find a way to enjoy the hard challenges, knowing there were going to be some really fundamental lessons to be learned. It genuinely was a roller-coaster. I think there were probably five or six matches that I felt defined my year all through different stages, all for different reasons, very few of them were about the tennis. It’s impossible to compare it to other years, but certainly from a personal growth perspective, being able to put it all together and come away with probably one of my most successful seasons on tour was incredible.”

Playing in the Bubble. “I found that routine a lot easier to adjust to because I was able to play some really good tennis and feel busy, so I think that was a blessing playing a lot of matches earlier. I became invested in our processes and sometimes when you get on a roll you find some real grit and determination. I felt like I was able to do that really well early on in the season. We had some challenges without a doubt—some tough injuries and moments where, in my mind, I thought it was all going to come crumbling down. But I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people who care for me as a human first before me as a tennis player.”

Isolating for two weeks in a quarantine hotel to get back into Oz: Hotel quarantine with [her fiance Gary] Kissick, Barty jokes, was just as trying. “It’s a test of your relationship, being with each other for two weeks straight. Some days it was good where we had each other and other days you go, ‘Maybe it’s easier to get through this alone.’” A specialised exercise bike allowed her to keep her fitness up but also “blow off some steam every day, get some endorphins going and kind of make you feel like you’ve achieved something”.

[From Vogue Australia]

The thing about being out of Australia for six/seven months is interesting because most Australian tennis players do that anyway, regardless of the pandemic! That’s what I kept thinking about whenever the tennis commentators made a big deal about Barty’s pandemic travels – most Aussie players find it difficult to fly home mid-season anyway, so they’re just on the road for six months at a time. Anyway, Ash is uncontroversial by personality and design. She’s not looking to make news. Nor does she want people to see her bob haircut.

Cover courtesy of Vogue Australia, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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8 Responses to “Ash Barty covers Vogue Australia, talks about the pandemic & playing in a bubble”

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  1. Emma33 says:

    She’s such a role model for young indigenous kids in Australia.

    • HyacinthBucket says:

      Came here to say this! Her pride in her indigenous culture and her support of causes is amazing. We need more amazing role models like her.

  2. LadyAlbert says:

    Ash is the best! I love that she didn’t go full Glam in the photoshoot. She looks comfortable and still looks like herself.

  3. Noli says:

    I like the cover very much, very Barty. She is so relatable.

  4. BeanieBean says:

    The Vogue photos make her look like Pippa Middleton. In the regular photos she looks more like herself.

  5. EBass says:

    She is such a class act!

  6. SKF says:

    It really stood out to me how she says ‘we’ all the time and always includes her team in her successes and challenges. She’s fabulous. Love her!

  7. retro bowl says:

    Good Information thanks for sharing