Ash Barty Kept Repeating One Word That Says Everything About Her Class
We love Ash Barty, both for her tennis and the person she is.
The Aussie world number two beat 73rd-ranked American Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6 to move into the US Open third round today, playing smart, gritty tennis to overcome a set point, and a second set service break.
This is the sort of non-panicky, tough play which got Barty to the top earlier this year, and which her legions of fans will be relieved to see has returned.
But it's what Barty said in her on-court interview after the match which really underlined the 23-year-old Queenslander's class as a person. We're thinking of one word in particular, which she repeated it often.
Asked about everything from her preparation to her fitness to her plans for a day off, Barty began every response with a "we", not an "I".
By "we", she meant long-term coach Craig Tyzzer, and everyone else who makes the life of a top tour professional possible.
It was Barty's subtle acknowledgement that it really is not all about her, and it was classy and thoughtful -- much like the tennis she played in today's match, which she closed-out with a dominant 7-2 margin in the second set tie-breaker.
Barty next plays in the third round on Friday (local time) against the winner of the second-round match between 30th seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, and Chinese player Peng Shuai.