Australia’s world No.1 Ash Barty on Monday night won through to the second round of the Australian Open with a straight sets win over
Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.
Barty told the crowd she had spent the off-season looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd at Melbourne Park, and here she tells AAP’s Darren Walton what else gets her pulse racing.
WHO IS YOUR SPORTING IDOL?
Evonne (Goolagong Cawley), without a doubt. Just because I was fortunate enough to meet her when I was 12 or 13 and it was pretty special to learn about the heritage that we share. But as I got a bit older, I think I understood better what just an impact she had, not only in tennis but with our heritage and our culture.
YOUR FAVOURITE GLOBAL ATHLETE TO WATCH?
That’s a really tough one. They’re friends of mine but watching Steph (Stephanie Gilmore) surf and “Cotchy” and “Dusty” (Richmond AFL stars Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin) do what they do in full fight, I really enjoy that.
THE BEST WOMEN’S CRICKETER IN AUSTRALIA?
The stats can’t lie. What Meg (Lanning) does for Australian cricket is beyond ridiculous. I was watching her in a rain-affected match where she scored only a handful of runs off 10 deliveries, then scored 40-odd off the next 14 or 15 to guide her team home. The leadership qualities she has are remarkable.
YOUR PERFECT HOLIDAY SPOT?
At Casa Barty. Home on the couch with the puppies.
YOU’RE A PET LOVER AND RSPCA AMBASSADOR SO HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE? I
have four dogs – two boys that live with me and two girls live with mum and dad that I got when I was still living with them. They all love having a sleepover together at mum and dad’s – the wolf pack’s in full force.
CELEBRITIES YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH?
Ooh, I’d have to go athletes. I would love to pick the brain of world-class athletes, like a LeBron James even. Kevin Bartlett would be incredible. I think he’d have some pretty cool stories and I can’t have a dinner party without Casey (Dellacqua). She brings the laughs and she’d be a firecracker.
HOW COMPETITIVE ARE YOU AT GOLF?
I play off 10 at Brookwater in Brisbane. I am competitive but not with golf. I can’t stand practising, have never hit a range ball and I just go out there to play. I go out with my girlfriends to catch up socially for three or four hours and to talk a lot of garbage but I also really, really enjoy playing golf well so it frustrates the life out of me when I have a bit of a blowout round but when I have a decent round of five, six, seven over, it’s pretty satisfying.”
BEST GOLF ROUND EVER?
Probably one where it didn’t count where I played some ambrose or something. But I think I played a round at “Brookie” to maybe four or five over. But that was a day where I hadn’t picked up a club for six or seven weeks and they just came out of the screws. The next day I had about 25 over and I was regretting my decision to come back again.
BEST COFFEE IN AUSTRALIA?
At home. With my machine I’m pretty happy with. It taste likes home and I make it to how I like it.