London, Great Britain, 11 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Exactly three years after winning the Wimbledon women’s singles title, Ash Barty made a triumphant return to Centre Court today at the All England Club.

The former world No.1 reunited with close friend and former partner Casey Dellacqua to score a 5-7 6-3 [10-7] victory against German Andrea Petkovic and Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova in a women’s invitational doubles match.

“Obviously this is the place that holds some of my most cherished memories,” Barty said. “And (it’s) really nice to be back with my best mate on the court. It’s pretty special.”

Barty and Dellacqua relished their late promotion to Centre Court, which they only learned of hours before their match.

“It was amazing. Very surprising,” said Barty, who was a women’s doubles finalist at Wimbledon alongside Dellacqua in 2013.

“A lovely surprise to be able to go out on Centre Court. I thought I’d played my last match out there.”

It has been a busy fortnight for Barty, who also made her commentary debut on the BBC.

“I’ve learnt a lot and have really enjoyed watching live tennis again,” Barty said of the experience.

“I’ve got a beautiful commentary box on both Centre and No.1 Court. You get a good view and are able to absorb what’s happening out on the court. Hopefully people at home are enjoying what I’m having to say. I don’t know whether I’m right, wrong or indifferent, but I’m enjoying it as well.”

As for whether these experiences have reignited her competitive desires, the 28-year-old was quick to shutdown any talk of a potential comeback.

“No, mate. No, I’m not,” Barty said.

“Anyone have a thesaurus for a word that I can use for ‘no’?”

Barty and Dellacqua are among nine Australian greats competing in the Wimbledon invitational events this year.

> READ: Nine Australian legends back on court at Wimbledon 2024

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Women’s invitational doubles, round-robin
Ash Barty (AUS)/Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d Andrea Petkovic (GER)/Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 5-7 6-3 [10-7]

Mixed invitational doubles, round-robin
Mark Woodforde (AUS)/Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d Greg Rusedski (GBR)/Iva Majoli (CRO) 6-3 6-4

Women’s invitational doubles, round-robin
Ash Barty (AUS)/Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Roberta Vinci (ITA)/Zheng Jie (CHN)
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Cara Black (ZIM) v Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)/Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Cara Black (ZIM) v Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)/Laura Robson (GBR)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 women’s invitational doubles draw

Men’s invitational doubles, round-robin
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)/Kevin Anderson (RSA) v Mark Philippoussis (AUS)/Tommy Haas (GER)
Mark Philippoussis (AUS)/Tommy Haas (GER) v Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)/Robert Farah (COL)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)/Kevin Anderson (RSA) v Jamie Delgado (GBR)/Sebastian Grosjean (FRA)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s invitational doubles draw

Mixed invitational doubles, round-robin
Mark Woodforde (AUS)/Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v Mansour Bahrami (IRI)/Alicia Molik (AUS)
Todd Woodbridge (AUS)/Rennae Stubbs (AUS)
v Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)/Anne Keothavong (GBR)
Todd Woodbridge (AUS)/Rennae Stubbs (AUS) v Thomas Enqvist (SWE)/Martina Navratilova (USA)
Mansour Bahrami (IRI)/Alicia Molik (AUS) v Richard Krajicek (NED)/Conchita Martinez (ESP)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 mixed invitational doubles draw

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