Ash Barty practices in Brisbane on Tuesday. Picture: AAP
Ash Barty practices in Brisbane on Tuesday. Picture: AAP

Barty focused on claiming Brisbane crown

THE Australian Open can wait for world No.1 Ash Barty.

Instead, the Ipswich product is focused on winning the star-studded Brisbane International, which starts at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Monday.

"The only thing I'm worrying about this week is playing in Brisbane," Barty said.

"No looking forward to Adelaide (International) or the Australian Open, for me right now it's about worrying about Brisbane and trying to put my best foot forward, knowing that if I do all the right things, it will put me in good stead."

Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

 

Barty is relishing the tough task she has to win the BI, which has attracted a top-class field, including defending champion and world No.2 Karolina Pliskova, world No.3 Naomi Osaka and star wildcard pair Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova.

"The best in the world want to come to Brisbane," Barty said.

"For me, it's my hometown, there's no other place I'd rather play and it's really special to start the year here.

"It would be incredible (to win the BI) but there's a long way to go first. There's an extremely tough field, probably one of the toughest of the whole year … but I'm looking forward to getting out there for my first match and seeing what level I can bring right from the get-go."

Once Brisbane is out of the way, Barty's main focus will be the Australian Open, which starts at Melbourne Park on January 20.

The owner of a French Open singles, Barty is keen to add to her Grand Slam tournament collection.

"For myself and my team, yes we've had some incredible results but we've worked damn hard," she said.

Ash Barty with Thommo the koala at the RSPCA Animal Hospital at Wacol. Picture: Getty Images
Ash Barty with Thommo the koala at the RSPCA Animal Hospital at Wacol. Picture: Getty Images

"It's been a reward for all of us, and there are still a few things we'd like to tick off.

"When the Australian Open comes around it's going to be really special.

"I'm so lucky to get so much support from people all around the nation. I truly am, and I can't wait to get out there for my first round.

"For me, this summer's about me going out there trying to be the best I can be."

That's on and off the court, with Barty visiting the RSPCA Animal Hospital at Wacol on Tuesday to check the condition of koalas injured in recent bushfires.

"With all the bushfires that have been going all around our country, it's been terribly devastating for people but also for all the animals," said Barty, an RSPCA ambassador.

"To see the work that the RSPCA do is incredible."

News Corp Australia


UPDATE: Munro Island fire brought under control

Premium Content UPDATE: Munro Island fire brought under control

The fire is currently one of five fires burning in the Clarence Valley

PETS OF THE WEEK: Furry friends ready for a new home

Premium Content PETS OF THE WEEK: Furry friends ready for a new home

Take a look at this handful of adorable pets that are up for adoption and waiting...

Spikes used in pursuit to stop man disqualified until 2052

Premium Content Spikes used in pursuit to stop man disqualified until 2052

A Coffs Harbour man will face court for an alleged police pursuit