Ash Barty’s Wimbledon campaign has captured the attention and admiration of her home country, Australia.
While Barty welcomes the support from back home, she also says she is staying focused.
“I love the fact that Australians at home, the fans, are able to get behind all of us that are here,” she told reporters Tuesday. “But I don’t read the papers. I don’t see that white noise as such. I don’t read it. It doesn’t faze me.”
Barty’s semifinal run comes on the 50th anniversary of fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong’s first of two Wimbledon titles. Goolagong’s second Wimbledon title in 1981 marks the last time an Australian has won the women’s Grand Slam. Barty has been wearing a scallop dress, reminiscent of Goolagong 1971 championship attire, in honor of the anniversary.
The commemoration of Goolagong’s historic accomplishments has no doubt raised expectations for Barty, but the world No. 1 insists that all that matters to her is the support of her family.
“I know the people that I love and the people that love me back are watching,” she said. “They’re living through this journey with me.”
Barty’s quest for the Wimbledon trophy will continue on Thursday when the Australian faces off against 2018 champion Angelique Kerber in the tournament’s semifinal.