Barty shoots for top 10, Grand Slam glory
After two consecutive top-20 seasons, Ash Barty is setting her sights higher as she opens her 2019 season at the Hopman Cup.
Australian Ash Barty has set her sights on cracking into the world’s top 10 in 2019, and she also wants to become a force in the Grand Slams.
Barty’s star continued to shine in 2018, with the 22-year-old rising to 15th in the world following a breakthrough campaign.
Her fourth-round appearance at the US Open was her best ever Grand Slam singles result, with Barty also registering third-round finishes at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka feels Barty is ready to challenge for major glory in 2019.
Barty is determined to prove that true.
“That’s the ultimate goal – to try to go deep into the Australian Open, and deep into the other slams throughout the year,” Barty said.
“That’s what will take my tennis and team to the next level, and trying to crack the top 10.
“I think women’s tennis is so open. Anyone in the top 30 can do damage in the big tournaments. We’ve seen that multiple times this year, where we’ve had smokies come through and win the tournament.”
Barty will kick off her summer on Saturday night when she leads Australia’s Hopman Cup charge against France.
Matt Ebden will take on Lucas Pouille, with Barty to face Alize Cornet.
Ebden also enjoyed a breakout year in 2018, rising to 46th in the world.
Australia will find it tough to win the Hopman Cup this year in a field featuring powerful German pair Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber, as well as defending champions Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic.
The US also boast a strong team, with Serena Williams partnering rising star Frances Tiafoe.
But Ebden, who hails from Western Australia, is determined to win his hometown event.
“Being from here, to win it would be one of the biggest highlights of my career,” Ebden said.
“It would be up there with winning a Grand Slam and Davis Cup.
“I know it can sometimes be thought of as a lead-in event, but I know everyone here is raring to go and really wanting to win the title.”