Pandemic has Barty savouring time as No.1

Darren Walton
Ashleigh Barty says the tennis tour shutdown has made her appreciate her career even more

Ashleigh Barty is savouring her time as world No.1 more than ever, saying the coronavirus pandemic has provided a sobering reminder of how quickly sporting careers can be snatched away.

With international tennis likely be one of the last sports to resume due to travel restrictions, Barty is bunkering down for the long haul and pinning her faith in the governing bodies to make the right calls on return dates.

"I'm keen to get back on the court but health always comes first," the French Open champion told AAP.

"This is a tough time for so many people in the world. There are more important things than tennis right now.

"It's a unique situation so it's tough to compare it to anything. All I can do is keep my fitness up, keep hitting and stay positive.

"I feel fortunate to be in Australia where the restrictions are easing a little and we are able to train again."

The 24-year-old said the indefinitely layoff has also made her appreciate becoming a grand slam champion and Australia's first women's world No.1 in 43 years during a stunning 2019 campaign.

"I've had a lot of time to reflect on the last year in particular and how special it was - 2019 was just incredible for my team and I," Barty said.

"Remembering all of those special moments has made me hungry to get back out there and compete again."

Whether that's competing in a domestic competition Tennis Australia is planning to keep some of the country's leading players active when lockdown restrictions allow remains to be seen.

"There are a lot of details that need to be worked through," Barty said.

"I'm interested to see what TA's plans are but I'd have to understand all the details before I make a decision.

"We are lucky to be at that point in Australia that we can think about tennis coming back in some form."

In the meantime, Barty is relishing the added home time with her dogs and the chance to hone her golf game in regular rounds with her trainee pro boyfriend Garry Kissick in Brisbane.

The gifted all-rounder has even managed to slash her handicap from 10 to five.

"(There's been) plenty of golf," she said.

"We are lucky in Queensland we have still been able to get out on the golf course. My handicap is definitely improving."