Ash Barty talks Martina Hingis, Bernie Tomic and Earmuffs

Ashleigh Barty, how much are you enjoying your second Fed Cup tie with the Australian team here in Switzerland?

It’s my first time in Switzerland. I’ve been all around Europe and I’ve always wanted to come to Switzerland. I remember one time in Germany I wanted to ride a bike but we didn’t get a chance to do that. So now I’m here and really enjoying it.

How much can you benefit from spending time with quality players like Sam Stosur?

Obviously it’s great to spend time with Sam, Jarka and Casey. She’s my doubles partner and we mix really well together. It’s great to play as a team because in tennis you don’t get to play in a team very often. So it’s nice to come together and have a bit of fun and work hard.

What’s the most difficult part of the transition from juniors to the WTA?

The standard of play is just a lot better. You’re playing against women and professional tennis players and it’s what they do for their life. They’re trying hard to earn money and have a successful career so it’s just very different and hard to explain. It’s a very tough transition but I’m really enjoying it.

Were you surprised how good the level at the top is?

No, I wasn’t surprised by the level. I kind of knew how good they were. They’re very, very good players and I’ve had the opportunity to play against girls of the Top 10 and then having very good success as well. I’ve had a good start and I’ve just got to keep chipping away and keep working hard on my game.

You played a sensational doubles tournament at the Australian Open this year. What are you memories?

That was a phenomenal tournament for both Casey and me. We’re such good friends, it’s really good to share something like that with her. We’ll always have that together. Hopefully we can play some more good doubles.

You got to play in Rod Laver Arena. What are you memories?

I remember we played the semi final match after Tsonga and Federer. I was so nervous. It was a really good crowd and great fun. I didn’t feel pressure it was just a lot of fun. To go out there and share that with Casey was great. We were able to help each other out. When times got tough she was there to pick me up and I was able to do the same for her.

Do you plan on teaming up with Casey for more doubles tournaments this year?

Yeah, definitely. We’re playing in the Grand Slams together. And then depending on schedule we try to play as much as possible.

You got to represent Australia at the Hopman Cup this year. How much did you enjoy this experience?

It was my big stage for the first time in my career. That week is very memorable for me. Playing with Bernie was fantastic. Playing in an arena as good as Perth is one of the best I’ve ever played in. Being able to play three quality players was great. And I played really well in all my matches. It was a great experience and that really set up my Australian summer.

How did you get along with Bernard Tomic?

Bernie is a great guy. I think he’s doing a little bit tough at the moment but he’s going to be a great player. He is a very nice person and I’m sure he’s going to knuckle down and do well.

You’re often compared to Martin Hingis. Are you getting tired of it?

No. But I try to be my own player. I know Martina well, we bumped into each other a few times at tournaments and airports. You just kinda see each other around. We’ve spoken before but I like to try and be my own player. I want to play like Ash Barty, she played like Martina Hingis. I want to have my own game and see where it takes me.

Players like Vika Azarenka and Sam Stosur see you as a future star with great potential. How nice is it to hear those words from such world class players?

It’s great to hear people saying that I have that potential. But for me I just want to keep working hard. I know if I work hard and do the best that I can I’ll be happy with my career. I don’t care if I get to number one or stay at 200. I want to work hard and keep playing and be the best I can be.

You’re regularly posting pictures with earmuffs. Would you share the story behind it?

Oh, the earmuffs! (laughter) In my first tie in Ostrava in Februray Casey and I and a few of the other team members were walking in a shop and we saw this big earmuffs. I was like ‚Oh they’re amazing.‘ I had to try them on and buy it. Now it’s a little bit like: Whoever is silly or makes a mistake has to wear the earmuffs. Even if it’s hot like it was this week. It’s really fun.