'Think he's over it': Ash Barty opens up on Andy Murray rejection

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Seen here are tennis stars Andy Murray and Ash Barty.
Ash Barty famously knocked back Andy Murray's doubles invitation for the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. Pic: Getty

Ash Barty has shed light on the brutal moment she was forced to snub Wimbledon favourite Andy Murray's request to be her doubles partner.

Australia's World No.1 is busy preparing for the grass-court grand slam at the All England club, having recently pulled out of the French Open with a hip injury.

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Speaking to media ahead of the year's third major, the Aussie playfully recalled the time when she ruthlessly refused three-time grand slam champion Murray's invitation to be her mixed doubles partner at Wimbledon 2019.

“When I read his message I was like, ‘You can’t be doing this to me mate, you can’t be putting me in this position’,” she said. 

“But having already committed to play singles and then doubles with Vika [Azarenka], it was a tough one. That was a rough decision.

“But he found a very, very good partner in Serena (Williams) and they had fun. I think maybe he’s over it now!”

With Barty opting to partner Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady in the women's doubles at Wimbledon this year, Murray would likely get the same answer again if he asked Barty to team up with him.

However, the Aussie admits that she'd love to join forces with the injury-plagued 34-year-old, before he eventually calls time on a decorated career.

“It would have been remarkable to play with Andy in any tournament, let alone Wimbledon,” added Barty.

“He’s too good a player not to be on tour and for people to not be able to experience watching him play.

"He’s a remarkable guy and seeing him coming back from his surgeries and problems is very good. Plus, he’s a kind guy – I love his sense of humour and I love who he is as a person.”

Like Murray, Barty has had hip problems of her own, forcing her out midway through the second round of the French Open, an injury she describes as heartbreaking but one she is confident she has overcome to avoid it being a hindrance at Wimbledon.

“It happens sometimes in bigger events and at awkward times,” said the Jaguar ambassador. “Knowing I was not going to be able to give myself a chance in that tournament was hard to accept but I knew I had to accept it. It took a little while – it was a very emotionally and mentally draining week.

“But it is what it is. The sun still came up the next day and we’re here in London training and rehabbing, and doing everything we can knowing there’s a very special tournament coming. I’m grateful and excited to be a part of it.”

Barty will pay a beautiful tribute to Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon to honour the 50th anniversary of the Aussie legend's triumph at the All England Club.

Pictured here, Ash Barty shows off her special Wimbledon outfit.
Ash Barty's Wimbledon outfit will pay tribute to Evonne Goolagong. Image: Instagram

Barty's lovely tribute to Aussie legend

It's been half a century since Goolagong Cawley and John Newcombe both won the Wimbledon singles titles in 1971 - a feat that no Australian pair has managed since.

Barty will pay tribute to her idol when Wimbledon kicks off on Monday by wearing the same-style dress that Goolagong Cawley donned en route to the title 50 years ago.

The outfit has been specially designed by both players' sponsor FILA.

"It's hard to put into words how much of an impact Evonne has had on the culture of tennis in Australia and on me personally," Barty said on Friday.

"I don't think there is anyone more iconic in our sport.

"I am very proud to wear this commemorative collection from FILA in celebration not only of her momentous victories on the court, but also her incredible legacy off of it."

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Barty is just the second Australian to reach World No.1 since her Indigenous hero, friend and mentor Goolagong Cawley scaled the summit in 1976.

Goolagong Cawley said she was touched by Barty's tribute.

"Wow, it just blows my mind," Goolagong Cawley said. 

"What a wonderful thing to do, what a wonderful honour. It's truly fantastic."

with agencies

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