Barty photo secret to world domination
Ash Barty's rivals never stood a chance.
The Aussie sensation was destined to be a tennis superstar from a young age - and now we know why.
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Fresh off beating defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek at the Madrid Open, Barty took to social media to reminisce about her younger days at home in Queensland.
Her parents are doing some home renovations and came across the secret to her success - a brick wall with a strip of duct tape across it simulating a net.
It's where Barty spent all those hours as a kid practising the groundstrokes that have taken her to No. 1 in the world.
"Mum & Dad rediscovering my first ever tennis court while doing some home renos," Barty wrote on Twitter, with a smiling face and tennis ball emoji. "Makeshift duct taped net is a little high...
"Would love to know how many hours I spent hitting balls against that brick wall," she added with a crying/laughing emoji.
It's no surprise then that the viral photo of Barty as a kid holding her racquet in one hand and a trophy in the other was always going to lead to world domination.
Barty is on a hot streak as she prepares for the French Open, seeking a second Roland Garros crown after winning her first grand slam in Paris in 2019. Her win over last year's victor Swiatek was her 14th straight win on clay, stretching back to the 2019 major, as she advanced to the quarterfinals in Madrid.
The 25-year-old is now 9-0 against top 20 opponents this year and has more wins than any woman on tour, moving to 23-3.
"I said, 'Mate, that was fun. It will be the first of many'," Barty said after beating Swiatek 7-5 6-4. "Really enjoyed myself out there tonight. I enjoyed the challenge.
"Iga's game is exceptional. It's really, really impressive. I love testing myself and trying to figure out the puzzle and challenges she created for me."
Barty's win against 19-year-old Swiatek comes after she survived a scare in the second round, needing three sets to overpower world No. 80 Tamara Zidansek.
She lost her temper briefly in that match when a ball off her racquet was originally called in, only to be overruled on a challenge by her opponent.
"You know the system is as much bulls*** as I do, don't you," she told the umpire.
Last week Barty won the Stuttgart Open in Germany, beating Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3 in the decider to claim her 11th career title.
Not only did she secure a trophy and 500 world ranking points, Barty also landed a Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo - and that might have been what hurt Sabalenka the most.
Asked if she was a speed fiend and was excited to test the Porsche's limits, Barty said: "No, driving Miss Daisy over here."
"This week's been phenomenal for me," Barty added in her post-match press conference. "We've played a lot of tennis, a lot of matches. And I've certainly felt like I'm taking my tennis to kind of a new level, in a sense of being able to be calm and play with freedom and play without consequence in a way, just going out there and try to bring my best every single point."
Originally published as Barty photo secret to world domination