Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Watch: Ashleigh Barty warmed up for WTA Finals win by practising cricket

Australian defeated defending champion Svitolina in title clash in Shenzhen

Ashleigh Barty with the Billie Jean King trophy following her victory in the Women's Singles final in Shenzhen. Getty Images
Ashleigh Barty with the Billie Jean King trophy following her victory in the Women's Singles final in Shenzhen. Getty Images

Australia's Ashleigh Barty topped the end of season women's rankings on Monday after her win in the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China.

Barty clinched her first WTA Finals title by defeating defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday. The title triumph capped a remarkable year for the 23-year-old which included her first Grand Slam title at the French Open and rise to the top of the rankings table.

What makes Barty's rise even more incredible is the fact she stepped away from tennis in 2014 and decided to pursue a career in cricket.

She even signed up for Twenty20 side Brisbane Heat in the women's Big Bash League in Australia the next year. However, Barty decided to return to professional tennis in 2016, and that has turned out to be a brilliant decision. After all, she took home a record winner's cheque of $4.42 million (Dh24m) – the biggest ever in men's or women's tennis – for her WTA win.

But while Barty is ruling the tennis world, cricket remains in her mind. She follows cricket matches while on tour and talks about the other sport in her life during tennis pressers.

Even on the eve of her WTA Finals title match, Barty showed how much cricket remains a part of her life. During her warm-up, Barty decided to play some cricket, using a plastic chair as a makeshift stump and batting against some gentle throw downs.

Got to say, her cricket technique is impeccable as ever.

Updated: November 6, 2019 06:18 AM

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