Ashleigh Barty has bombed out of the US Open but has set her sights on a doubles victory after a frustrating match against Qiang Wang.
The Chinese player eliminated Barty with a straight-sets fourth-round win over Australia’s world No.2.
But rather than dwell on the fourth round shocker, Barty is focusing on retaining the US Open doubles crown she won last year alongside CoCo Vandeweghe.
A philosophical Barty preferred to reflect on a watershed grand slam season – highlighted by her magical French Open triumph in June – than mope about her 6-2 6-4 loss to Wang on Sunday.
“It’s been incredible. Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough day at the office today, but it’s been a year where we’ve hit our goals. Obviously I would have loved to have kept going here in singles, but we’ve got an opportunity to do that in doubles.
“Knowing what it was like last year to be able to lift the trophy in doubles was really cool. To be able to have another opportunity to do that now, still being able to play in doubles, is a bonus.
“We’ve had a great season in grand slams for singles. We’ve made the second week every single one, which has been really special.
“Now we’ll sit back, reflect, and look forward to a big couple months to finish off the year.”
World No.18 Wang was the highest-ranked rival Barty had played since the French Open semi-finals two months ago – and she was simply unable to rise to the occasion.
Formerly coached by Australian Davis Cup winner, the late Peter McNamara, Wang was like the Great Wall of China, her relentless defence and counter-punching driving Barty mad.
The second seed’s numbers told the story, Barty committing 39 unforced errors in 18 games and unable to convert any of nine break-point chances.
“Q was very good, very solid. I felt like she was able to put the ball with great depth in difficult positions for me,” Barty said.
“I still was able to create opportunities. Just very frustrating that on the big points today, Q played a lot better.
“It’s frustrating now. Again, give me an hour and I’ll be right. It’s an opportunity, it’s a new day tomorrow.
“Just because we’ve had a tough hour and a half on the court, it doesn’t reflect on the year that I’ve had or the couple of weeks I’ve had here in New York.
“It’s still going. Still have an opportunity to try to do well with Vika (Azarenka) tomorrow.”
Eighth seeds Barty and Azarenka are through to the last 16 of the women’s doubles and will play either American teenage prodigies Coco Gauff and Caty McNally or the Czech-American pair of Kvete Peschke and Nicole Melichar for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Obviously playing with CoCo (Vanderweghe) last year, I had every intention to play with CoCo in Australia (at the start of the year), kind of begin that again,” Barty said of her switch in partners.
“But after her (ankle) injury, it was a bit of a last-minute thing where I just texted Vika and said: ‘Look, I don’t have a partner. Would you be keen to play in Australia?
“We’ve just kind of gone from there.”