London, UK, 20 June 2024 | Matt Trollope

Wimbledon singles champion Ash Barty will return to the All England Club for the first time since her thrilling 2021 triumph, competing in the legends’ invitational doubles event.

She will team with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua, her best friend and former doubles partner with whom she reached four Grand Slam doubles finals.

Dellacqua joined The AO Show Weekly to share her excitement at the news, which was revealed Wednesday on Wimbledon’s social media channels.

“I can announce that the band’s back together, ABCD,” said Dellacqua, a reference to the pair’s initials, which were used as an unofficial team name.

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“This is why I love tennis, because it doesn’t matter at what level, I get an opportunity to play with my best mate who, yes, is an extremely good player and has won The Championships before.

“We’re just gonna have a great time and enjoy just being back together as friends on a tennis court, which we have loved to do our whole life… I’m actually really excited about it.

“We’re now in a different stage of our life. We’ve both got kids, we chat about different things, but hey, the tennis doesn’t change.

“The tennis is always there. And that’s what kind of is the glue that brought us together. So we’re really lucky.”

Barty and Dellacqua finished runners-up in women’s doubles at Wimbledon in 2013, a season in which they reached three major doubles finals together.

Barty’s singles career took off when she resumed competing in 2016, and she improved with every main draw she contested at Wimbledon.

After a first-round loss in 2017, Barty reached the third round in 2018 and the fourth round in 2019, before going all the way to the title in 2021, beating Karolina Pliskova in a three-set final.

Six months later she won her third Grand Slam singles title at Australian Open 2022, before retiring from tennis in March that year.

Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis won last year’s Wimbledon women’s invitational doubles event.