Former No.1 Ashleigh Barty reunites with Australian Open trophy
Melbourne : Former World No.1 Ashleigh Barty on Saturday made a surprise appearance at Melbourne Park to deliver the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy to Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open 2023 women’s final.
The 26-year-old Queenslander, who announced her sudden retirement last April, received a rousing ovation from the crowd as she strolled on to the court with the trophy she captured in inspired fashion 12 months ago.
Last year, Barty claimed her third and final major title by defeating Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 in the final to become Australia’s first homegrown champion in 44 years.
With seven of the members of the Original 9 and her friend and mentor Evonne Goolagong Cawley watching from the stands, Barty flashed a wide grin and trademark wave to the crowd before making way for the night’s combatants, No.5 Aryna Sabalenka and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
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