Aussie legend's message to Ash Barty ahead of Wimbledon

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Seen here, Ash Barty applauds fans at the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.
Ash Barty will go into Wimbledon looking to win her second career grand slam singles title. Pic: Getty

Australian tennis great John Newcombe has identified a strategy he believes will be key to Ash Barty's Wimbledon hopes, as the World No.1 attempts to seal a special place in Australian history.

Barty goes into the grass-court grand slam under somewhat of an injury cloud after pulling out of her French Open second round match with a hip injury.

'THIS IS A MISTAKE': Tennis world stunned by shock announcement

'SO GOOD': Tennis fans erupt over photos of Serena Williams

The 25-year-old has also opted against playing in any of the traditional warm-up events as she tries to ease her way back from the injury.

Barty has been practising on grass at Wimbledon labelling them "baby steps" as the 2019 French Open champion bids to be fighting fit.

Fifty years after Newcombe and Barty's idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley completed the Wimbledon singles title double, the 25-year-old will line up as the women's top seed at The All England Club on Monday.

Newcombe is convinced the 25-year-old has all the tools to become only Australia's third women's champion on London's hallowed lawns after Goolagong Cawley and Margaret Court - but only if she doesn't retreat into her defensive shell.

Newcombe, a three-time Wimbledon champion, hasn't forgotten how Barty crashed out with a fourth-round defeat to American Alison Riske while also top seed two years ago.

"She was playing too far behind the baseline and the girl she was playing, Riske, she was getting into the net on Ash and she just had her pinned back and Ash never looked like she was going to win," Newcombe told AAP on Tuesday.

"It's the same when Ash plays in all of her matches. I find that if she hangs back behind the baseline and plays her defence game, it's not nearly as good.

"She hits a lot of slice backhands and a slice backhand from two metres behind the baseline is useless.

"If you're going to play slice, you've got to be in or on the baseline or just behind it, and when she does that, her whole game lifts up.

"Then she can manoeuvre her opponent around court and be creative.

"So I just hope she plays aggressively and positively."

Pictured here, tennis great John Newcombe presents Ash Barty with a medal bearing his own name.
Aussie legend John Newcombe is urging Ash Barty to back her net game at the All England Club. Pic: Getty

Barty told to back her net game

The Aussie tennis legend reckons Barty needs to back her exceptional net game if she's to taste success at the All England Club.

"Ash is the best volleyer in women's tennis," said the former world No.1 and seven-times grand slam champion.

"That's why when I'm watching on TV, I'm like 'Ash, get into the bloody net'."

A hip injury that forced her mid-match withdrawal from this month's French Open will leave Barty without a grass-court lead-up event before Wimbledon.

Defending champion Simona Halep also goes into the grand slam short of match practice as she bids to return from injury, while Naomi Osaka's withdrawal could work in Barty's favour.

One of Barty's biggest threats will undoubtedly be seven-time champion Serena Williams, who is hoping to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Newcombe admits that Barty's limited preparation is a concern but says the World No.1 can live up to her seeding and pre-tournament favouritism and add the Wimbledon women's crown to the girls' junior title that she won as a 15-year-old - a decade ago.

"Hopefully she's recovered OK. If not, we'll find out in the first week. It can be a bit slippery on those courts," he said.

"If she survives the first week and then gets through to the quarter-final, that means she's adapted and it's all coming together and she'll be very hard to stop."

with AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting