Olivia Gadecki reveals high-profile mentor for Australian Open 2023
Rising Aussie Olivia Gadecki will be mentored by Australian Open 2022 women's singles champion Ash Barty this summer.
She may not be defending her title but Ash Barty will be back at Melbourne Park this month mentoring another tennis super talent with her own big Australian Open dreams.
Barty revealed in November that she’d be returning to the scene of her momentous 2022 triumph but refused to disclose what role she’d be filling, only ruling out joining the commentary ranks.
But fellow Queensland prodigy Olivia Gadecki is chuffed to report the retired superstar will be in her corner for the 20-year-old’s much-anticipated Australian Open debut after being handed a wildcard entry into the season’s first Grand Slam.
Barty has been mentoring Gadecki for several years, the pair often hitting together on the Gold Coast, and is committed to helping her state mate make a successful transition to the professional ranks.
“I’ve been really fortunate to always be able to contact her if I have any questions or if I need advice, she’s always been there for me,” Gadecki told AAP at the United Cup in Sydney.
“The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court.”
As well as leaning on Barty’s vast experience of dealing with the pressure of expectation from a young age, the former national junior champion says the three-time major winner’s professionalism is unrivalled.
“Just her application. She’s just really good at being consistent with everything she goes about,” Gadecki said.
Gadecki burst onto the international stage with a victory over then-world No.4 Sofia Kenin as an unranked wildcard at the 2021 Phillip Island Trophy event at Melbourne Park.
She has since represented Australia in the Billie Jean King Cup and achieved a career-high ranking of world No.156 in July last year. She has since slipped to world No.202 in the rankings.
“Last year was a bit tough with injuries. I’ve been struggling a little bit for the last five or six months,” said Gadecki.
“I did my ankle and left hand but it’s a long journey and one year (of disruptions) is not going to make a massive difference. I’m looking at the positives.
“I’m fortunate enough to be given the opportunity of playing main draw Australian Open, which has been a dream of mine from a very young age.
“I’m just looking to enjoy the experience and hopefully get a couple of matches under my belt.”
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