Would it not be nice if they could bottle some of the essence of Ash Barty and give the super-size bottle to other tennis players perhaps in need of an attitude adjustment?
Maybe the formula could be adjusted to permit its use for other sports codes, with the only criterion imposed being the requirement that it does not contain any physical performance enhancing ingredients.
Barty was obviously disappointed at exiting the U.S. Open with a fourth round 2 – 6, 4 – 6 loss to Wang Qiang, but she allowed as how returning to pro tennis from a stint in women’s cricket was responsible for a fresh perspective that played a major role in her rise this winter to the No. 1 ranking in the world, along with capturing her first major by winning the 2019 French Open.
Speaking of her season, Barty told reporters, “It’s been incredible. We’ve had a great season in Grand Slams for singles. We’ve made the second week every single one, which has been really special. Now we’ll sit back, reflect and look forward to a big couple months to finish off the year.”
No whinging about opponents, nothing negative about tournament draws, no major disputes involving officiating.
Barty was the first Australian woman to win the French Open in nearly 46 years, since Margaret Smith-Court won for her fifth and final time in 1973.
In one of those mathematical ironies of sports, Barty could regain the No. 1 ranking if certain scenarios fall into place. Should Karolina Pliskova fail to reach the semifinals, or Naomi Osaka fail to repeat her U.S. Open victory from 2018, Barty would be back on top.
Over on the men’s side, the big news is that Novak Djokovic was forced to retire in the third set of his match with Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka expressed support and sympathy toward Djokovic, but it is hard to imagine that he was not buoyed by advancing in an energy preserving fashion.
Djokovic’s absence provides a lift for Roger Federer and those named Nadal now enjoy a clearer path to the title.