Ash Barty
Ash Barty Franca Tigani

Ash Barty welcomed back to tennis playing ranks

LONG-time Ash Barty supporter and former neighbour David Morrison was quick to welcome the Springfield sportswoman back to tennis.

"I congratulate Ash on her return to tennis and admire the way in which she took a break from the sport she has loved since she was a toddler and yet continued to give back by coaching young players,'' the Ipswich councillor said.

"I am sure Tennis Australia is thrilled to have Ash back in their fold.

"I also admire the fact that Ash is willing to work her way through the ranks from the bottom. What is the most important factor is Ash is happy and confident in her decision.

"Knowing Ash she will return very focused and give her 100 per cent. Ipswich is proud of you and wish you well.''

Barty's father Robert shared his daughter's decision after her recent stint trying cricket.

"About three or four weeks ago, Ash made the decision to return to tennis,'' Robert said.

"Ash has decided not to seek a 'protected ranking' from 18 months ago and is starting at the very bottom and will work her way back up the rankings and hopefully onto the WTA.

"Ash has been very busy training on and off the court over the last three weeks and will start her comeback through some doubles events and is now in Perth for the first ITF Pro Tour event.''

Barty, 19, was the junior Wimbledon champion at the age of 15, becoming a three-time Grand Slam finalist with Casey Dellacqua.

During her break from top-level tennis, she played for Brisbane Heat in this year's inaugural Women's Big Bash competition.

"I love the sport of tennis but I sort of got a little bit away from what I really wanted to do,'' she told Australian tennis officials.

"It became robotic for me and that's now what I wanted.

"It's such an amazing sport and I just really want to enjoy it.''

Barty said she felt "refreshed and ready to go again''.

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