Updated: Oct 3, 2020
28th September 2020
As reported by ESPN, the world‘s number one women‘s tennis player Ashleigh Barty, skipped the US and French Open tournaments 2020. However, she went on to prove her mettle in the field of golf when the Brookwater Golf Club crowned her as the women‘s champion.
Barty has had associations with a lot of different sports in the yesteryears. In her previous year-long hiatus from tennis, back in 2014, she had decided to pick up the sport of cricket and had fared pretty well in that too. She decided to skip the two major tennis tournaments this year, due to the COVID-19 lockdown in her home state of Queensland, reported Indian Express. To keep herself engaged with any form of sporting activity possible, she decided to try her hand at golf.
ESPN reported that the result of the match-play final at the club was in her favour, and she was crowned the champion. Commenting on her win, the two-time Queensland amateur champion, Louis Dobbelaar told Australian Associated Press, “She has got all the tools if she wants to pursue it. If she put her mind to it, I am sure she could.” Dobbelaar added to his comment stating that Barty was a class apart when compared to other players from different sports coming in to try their hand at golf. He remarked that her ball-striking abilities were excellent, and owing to her training in tennis, her hand-eye coordination was something that came naturally.
Ashleigh Barty’s family has had a history with golf, with her father, Robert Barty, once having represented his country at the amateur level. While in Melbourne for the President’s Cup last year, the fifteen times prominent winning golfer, Tiger Woods had praised Ashleigh Barty’s golfing skills, appreciating the way she swung the club. “She has got a great swing, are you kidding me?” Woods had said.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Barty had not been able to train properly and be with her coach to get back into the groove for these major tournaments. Hence, she had to leave behind the chance of defending her title at the French Open.
Along with Barty, there are several other ace tennis players from across the globe, who have missed out on taking part in the French Open, due to some reason or other related to the worldwide spread of coronavirus. The list of players who are not playing in the French Open includes the likes of Fernando Verdasco, who had been tested positive for COVID-19 — which led to the organisers not allowing him to participate, and Roger Federer who had to pull out due to a knee injury.
(Sources: ESPN, Essentially Sports, Indian Express)
Edited by Meghna Venkatesh