The Ash Barty question that made Patty Mills 'choke up' in interview

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·4-min read
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Pictured right, Patty Mills discusses Ash Barty's epic Wimbledon triumph.
Patty Mills admitted he 'choked up' when asked about Ash Barty's Wimbledon triumph. Pic: Getty/Twitter

Proudly Indigenous Aussie basketball star Patty Mills was overcome with emotional after being asked about a question about compatriot Ash Barty's extraordinary Wimbledon triumph.

The World No.1 etched her name onto the Wimbledon champion's board after a pulsating three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova in the final.

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In doing so, Barty became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

Barty even wore a specially designed dress throughout the tournament that paid homage to her Indigenous tennis hero.

The 25-year-old's maiden Wimbledon title has been hailed around Australia and the world, with Mills asked to comment on the victory after the Boomers' thrilling 87-84 win against Argentina in an Olympics warm-up match.

A clearly emotional Mills choked back tears of joy as he revealed that Barty's epic Wimbledon victory during NAIDOC week had given him "goosebumps".

“This is special, this is goosebumps-type stuff. I’m getting emotional more for that than our game,” Mills said after Australia's 3-point win.

“Ash Barty, just incredible … Amazing. 41 years since the last Australian woman to win Wimbledon and that was Evonne Goolagong Cawley.”

“And she does it in a dress that’s inspired by her idol in Evonne, during NAIDOC Week.

“There’s all these things that just give you goosebumps when you’re talking about it.

“Amazing inspiration for everyone in Australia, especially for Indigenous Australians. Like I said, I even choke up a little bit thinking about it. She’s amazing.”

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Barty's comments after her awe-inspiring triumph at the All England Club demonstrated why Mills was so emotional speaking about the Queensland champion as she explained what it meant to emulate Goolagong's Wimbledon win in 1971.

"Yeah, Evonne is a very special person in my life. She has been iconic in paving a way for young Indigenous youth to believe in their dreams and to chase their dreams. She's done exactly that for me as well," Barty said.

"Being able to share that with her and share some pretty special victories now with her, to be able to create my own path is really incredible, really exciting.

"She's just been an icon for years and years, not just on the tennis court. Her legacy off the court is incredible. If I could be half the person that Evonne is, I'd be a very, very happy person."

Pictured here, Ash Barty and Evonne Goolagong Cawley at the 2019 Newcombe Medal awards night.
Ash Barty and Evonne Goolagong Cawley at the 2019 Newcombe Medal awards night. Pic: AAP

After capturing the hearts of the nation once again with a stylish second grand slam triumph in little more than two years, Barty craves to create her own legacy.

Barty inspiring the next generation

The 25-year-old - who says it's "really, really cool" knowing Goolagong Cawley is "only ever a phone call away" - doesn't care how she inspires youngsters, especially the Indigenous.

Just as long she does.

"Of course I would love to see as many young boys and girls, Indigenous included, playing tennis," Barty said.

"I think it's a sport that you can play for life.

"It's also important to experience all different types of sports and kind of find your first love.

"I know through Evonne's foundation, she creates an opportunity that's not just sport but through education as well and that's a massive part of Indigenous youth.

"Being able to open some doors and options and avenues to allow kids to dream and discover what they want to do when they're older.

"Obviously if I can create a smile on a young boy or girl's face or be able to inspire them in a way, that would absolutely make my day.

"Being able to live out my dreams and stories with them is a massive part of that learning as well."

Goolagong Cawley likened Barty to a "little sister" and felt her kindred spirit was destined to win Saturday night's cliffhanger final against Czech Karolina Pliskova.

"All the way through I just sort of had this feeling that Ash's going to win. This is her time," Goolagong Cawley said.

"You know, somebody up there's looking down on us, I think, and during NAIDOC week.

"We're both very proud. I'm a Wiradjuri woman from NSW and she's a very proud Aboriginal also, and so what a way to celebrate, not just my 50 years since I won there but it was NAIDOC week and it was very important."

with AAP

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