Ash Barty teases AFLW defection after third round demolition in Australian Open

Ash Barty has been the world Number one for more than a year, has won a grand slam and has achieved plenty in her short tennis career.

It could definitely be argued there’s not much else for her to achieve in the sport at just 24, so why not try something different.

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It appears to be the attitude of the Aussie star as she cruised into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-2 6-4 win over Russian 29th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

After a year sitting on the sidelines, famously with a beer as her Richmond Tigers claimed the 2020 AFL premiership, she joked that she may have got an itch to try something new.

Pre-match, vision of the Aussie star emerged which saw her kicking a football around with her team, keeping low as she warmed up.

But after the match, former doubles partner and former Aussie star Casey Dellacqua asked what was next for Barty.

Ash Barty is working on her tight five with the media.Source:Getty Images

The pair have a strong rapport having made four grand slam doubles finals as a partnership, and Barty suggest they might have to give the AFLW a whirl.

“I thought it was our deal, we’re going to AFLW. It’s ABCD, we come as a package and I know we will be going to the Tiges that is for sure,” Barty joked.

“Will we be?” Dellacqua replied.

“Yeah. You can’t go to Carlton. You have to come to the Tiges with me,” Barty said.

Dellacqua said: “I need to get out there and start practising some kicking but you are good. I would love to do that one day.”

Don't go getting any ideas @aflwomens ? @ashbarty is on an #AusOpen mission ?#AO2021

While we’re not suggesting that Barty was in an way serious with her on-court banter, it wouldn’t be too surprising either with her move to cricket in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League being heavily reference in her rise up the world rankings.

But Barty has become known for having some fun with her press conferences.

After beating Daria Gavrilova in the second round, Barty started dropping food references in her media conferences.

At Wimbledon in 2019, Barty admitted to dropping references to Disney films in her media conferences. It took three pressers for journalists to cotton on to the trend, which saw the Aussie quote The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Toy Story after matches at the All England Club.

She also answered a reporters phone ahead of last years’ Adelaide International.

Ash Barty has set up a fourth round clash with American Shelby Rogers.Source:Supplied

Barty was at her dominant best against Alexandrova.

Despite losing her first service game and going down 2-0, Barty raced back to win the next six games to seal the set.

Ash Barty is looking scary good. Loving the quick courts. And the variety she has in her game makes her so much fun to watch

Alexandrova took a medical time-out after the first set, and undeniably registered less unforced errors early in the second set.

The Russian managed to break serve, with a perfectly-executed drop shot proving the telling blow as she edged ahead in the second set.

But showing her class, Barty managed to put the set back on serve after missing five break points at the other end.

Barty’s backhand slice proved a dangerous weapon, the shot regularly forcing Ekaterina into making errors.

The Aussie sealed the straight sets victory by breaking Alexandrova’s serve once again, qualifying for the fourth round.

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