Ash Barty on Olympic village life, tennis news 2021

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You would struggle to find someone who enjoyed a better month of July this year than Ash Barty.

She claimed her first-ever Wimbledon title by defeating Karolina Pliskova in straight sets, as Australia cheered her on into the early hours of the morning.

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Barty showed no signs of a Wimbledon hangover as she bagged herself a bronze medal in mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics alongside fellow Aussie John Peers.

But the 25-year-old’s time in Japan was so much more than just winning a medal for her country. In fact, something as simple as seeing old faces made Barty’s time at the Olympic village just that extra bit special.

“That whole Olympic experience, being able to see a few Aussies I hadn’t seen since January, February, was incredible,” Barty told reporters at the Western and Southern Open.

“And obviously to be able to share some of our stories we’ve had over the last three, four months, being able to talk through them and kind of chat to them about it and just hear some Aussie accents made a massive difference.”

Barty got off to a shaky start in Tokyo, as she was bundled out of the first round in the women’s singles. A strong run alongside Storm Sanders in the women’s doubles sadly ended at the quarter-final stage.

Despite winning the bronze in the mixed doubles, Barty will almost certainly be back for another crack at a gold medal in Paris.

If she doesn’t go to the 2024 Olympics for a medal, then she’s certainly going back to capture the magic of the Olympic village all over again.

“Even though all of the athletes, all of us, we weren’t able to go (to) all of the sports, it created an incredible vibe at our Australian headquarters,” Barty said.

“Everyone was wrapped around the TVs, everyone was watching, supporting, and it almost brought us together more in the fact that we only had one place where we could watch everyone.

“It almost dragged us all there, and the vibe was pretty good.”

Having spent so much time away from her home in Queensland, something as simple as being around Aussie accents was a massive comfort for Barty.

“Being around so many other Aussies just created this incredible feeling of home and normalcy, I suppose,” Barty said.

“That was really refreshing. That was really nice.

“I think Aussies have this incredible ability of creating an equal playing field, everyone is equal.

“And I think at Aussie headquarters in the Village, that was a really strong sense of that.”

Barty will face England’s Heather Watson in the round of 32 at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinatti on Thursday morning AEST, as she continues to ramp up her preparations ahead of the US Open.

The Queenslander is yet to make it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, but off the back of her Wimbledon triumph and the experience of a lifetime in Tokyo, Barty is ready to continue her red-hot form on the court.

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