World number one Ash Barty looked impressive when she reached the quarterfinals of the Western and Southern Open on Thursday, happy to be playing as much as possible on an unusually long distance away from the Australian home.
Barty continued his preparations for the US Open by defeating the first 10 games, defeating former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-0 6-2 in less than an hour.
The 25-year-old Queenslander stayed home in 2020 as the Coveland 19 spread around the world, but this season chose to return to the tennis professional’s pragmatic life.
Australia’s strict quarantine laws mean she is unlikely to go home early to recharge her batteries, but Barty says she always knew she would have to accept the challenge of life on the road.
“Yeah, it’s a little weird. It’s a great adventure,” he told reporters in Cincinnati.
“I think once we left Australia earlier this year, it was a very big mindset that we used, it will be a year like no other.
“It’s going to be an adventure, and we’ll not only have to find ways to enjoy it, but sometimes we’ll have to entertain ourselves.”
Barty is definitely having fun on the court, winning four singles titles in 12 tournaments this year, including his second Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon.
“There are times when I feel like the days are getting longer, everything is dragging on,” said Barty, who is playing with French Open champion Barbora Krajicova to make it to the Cincinnati semifinals.
“Fortunately, I’ve been playing a lot of matches, which has probably been the best distraction over time.
“We’re just trying to play every match and every kind of live as much as we can, make sure we laugh, make sure we smile, have a good time, and the rest take care of themselves.”