Around 70 young Queensland tennis players have welcomed women’s World No. 1 player Ashleigh Barty back home with a special event at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane.
The excitement at the Barty Party was further buoyed by an announcement from the Premier that they’d get to see their idol in action when Ash competes in the Brisbane International event starting January 2020.
The Ipswich-born champion confirmed her appearance at the tennis tournament today.
“Ash is a global superstar so having her compete in the Brisbane International is fantastic news for the event and it means tennis fans around Queensland and Australia have a chance to see her in action,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“She’s not only an amazing tennis player and champion but she’s a great Queenslander and role model.
“Her efforts are further proof that any young person can play on any court around Queensland and end up an international champion.
“I’m sure the children playing tennis with Ash today will remember this day for the rest of their lives.”
Ms Barty said it would be very special to play at the Queensland Tennis Centre again.
“I have always enjoyed amazing support in Brisbane and feel so incredibly lucky to play at home,” she said.
“The Brisbane International always attracts an incredibly strong field because it’s the perfect start to the season and great preparation for the Australian Open.”
Brisbane International Tournament Director Mark Handley expects Barty will add an extra level of excitement to the event.
“This will be the first time Queensland fans will have the chance to see Ash play in her home state after her extraordinary achievements this year,” Mr Handley said.
“Queenslanders are rightly proud of Ash, how she holds herself on and off court and what she’s been able to achieve is an inspiration for all Australians.”
Ash Barty won the French Open in Paris in June to become the first Australian to win the event since Margaret Court in 1973, and she is the first Australian woman in 43 years since Evonne Goolagong Cawley AC MBE in 1976 to top the world rankings. She’s the second only Australian female player in history to top the world rankings.
“Ash started playing on courts in Richlands in my electorate so it’s been an absolute thrill to see her rise to the top,” the Premier said.
“Her role as the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia also emphasises what an inspiration she is.”