World number one Ash Barty will once again affect his nation’s hopes of winning the Australian Open at home, only to promise that he will give the “best crack” in ending a 44-year drought.
After claiming her second major title at Wimbledon last year, Barty will be under tremendous pressure to reach the first Grand Slam of the year, where no Australian has won since Chris O’Neill claimed the women’s title in 1978 at Kyung.
“I can’t do more than I can try. That’s all I can do. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, “the 25-year-old told reporters in Melbourne Park on Saturday.
“I just have to hope that everyone understands that I am giving him my best crack. It doesn’t always work the way you want it to.
“But you go about it the right way, you do the right things and try and give yourself the best chance, that’s all you can do.
“It also goes to all the other Australians, everyone else in the draw. They’re trying to do it over and over again, do the right thing and give themselves a chance. “
Barty has sent Australia into a frenzy by delving deeper into the tournament over the last three years, but has left them wanting more.
A quarterfinalist in 2019, Barty tore through a draw in 2020 but suffered a surprise semifinal defeat against eventual winner Sophia Canin.
One of the biggest shocks of the tournament was that she was in superb form last year until the Czech Carolina Muchova overcame three sets in the quarterfinals.
“I have some tough lessons, but also some incredible moments (in Australia),” said Barty, who faced a difficult opening round against former US Open quarterfinalist and qualifier Lesia Tsurenko.
“Hopefully that puts me in a better position, for another year, another crack here, and we’ll continue.”