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 15 year old Ashleigh Barty qualified for Australian Open Main Draw

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Thehattrickrabbit
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PostSubject: 15 year old Ashleigh Barty qualified for Australian Open Main Draw   Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:28 am

EXCITING young tennis talent Ashleigh Barty has an Australian Open wildcard as an early Christmas present.

Barty continued to underline almost limitless potential by beating good friend Olivia Rogowska 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in the play-off final at Melbourne Park today.

The 15-year-old Queenslander didn't drop a set in five matches against vastly more experienced opponents to earn the prize, a place in the Open's women's singles draw next month.

"I can't describe how I'm feeling right now. I was just hoping to win a set (during the week). So I'm pleased with what I've done,'' Barty said

What else is on Santa's list? "I haven't really thought about it. Probably just some computer games, DVDs. I'm a bit of a nerd away from tennis,'' she grinned.

Seasoned coaches at Melbourne Park during the play-offs all endorsed Barty as the "real deal'' and the Wimbledon girls champion improved with every match after claiming top seed Casey Dellacqua as her first victim.

She started slowly in the final, falling behind 0-3 and Rogowska, five years older, served for the opening set at 5-3.

But Barty displayed maturity far beyond her years to steadily work her back into the match, particularly varying the baseline rallies with topspin and slice.

Even when the teenager blew two set points at 6-4 in the tiebreak, she simply knuckled down and played two solid points to force errors.

From 2-2 in the second set, she reeled off four games in a row to power to victory and a rightful place in the Open field.

"I don't think I started slow. I hadn't played Liv before, so it's hard to get used to her ball.
"She came out really well and I think I was just able to play a little more solid towards the end of the first set and the start of the second. That break at 3-2 (in the second set) was a big one. I played some really good tennis in that game,'' Barty said.

So, what does she expect after already achieving one 2012 goal to play in a Grand Slam main singles draw?

"Honestly, I really don't know. I'll probably go out there and play some horrendous tennis and be nervous. But I'll just go out there and have some fun,'' she said.

"I think I'll just keep to myself in the locker room. You know, just stay in the corner and hide from everyone. We'll see how it goes.

"One of my goals was to play in a Grand Slam, so I achieved that now and hopefully I'm fit and healthy to play in the Aussie Open.

"I hope I'm still growing. I want to be a little bit taller. Hopefully, I grow a bit before the Aussie Open.

"Everyone has been telling me I have (grown since Wimbledon), but I'll have to go and measure myself against the wall when I get back home.''

Barty is a straight-talking, affable teenager who gradually warmed to the increasing attention after each match. And she said her friends will ensure she stays grounded.

"They probably didn't even watch it back home. I don't talk to my mates about tennis. With Mum and Dad, I'm sure I've got a few text messages already, so I'll go and check my phone when I get back in the locker room,'' she said.

Like a typically forgetful 15-year-old, she's aware that her Australian Open accreditation pass might not survive the trip home and then back to Melbourne in early January.

"I just don't want to lose it. I think I might get the guys here from Tennis Australia to hold onto it so I don't lose it,'' she said.
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