The best Ashleigh Barty crashed out of the US Open on Saturday in the third round, disappointed but ready to put defeat behind him and start planning for what comes next.
The reigning Wimbledon champion, Ashleigh Barty won 11 of 14 games after dropping the first set. she was then broken twice while serving for the game, eventually dropping a shock on American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7/5).
“It’s never fun when you have a few chances to serve out a game and don’t get it done,” Barty said. “Six in the third is brutal, it’s hard to swallow.
“I found a way to really turn it to my advantage and just couldn’t quite finish it. It’s disappointing, but we’re moving on.”
The 25-year-old Australian fell a lap shy to match her deepest US Open run. It is the only slam where she has not reached the semifinals.
“I feel like you kind of build up a slam and then there’s a reset,” Barty said. “We’re resetting now. We’re going back to the drawing board, figure out what we want to do for the rest of the season.”
Barty won titles in Miami, Melbourne, Stuttgart and Cincinnati this year, as well as her second Grand Slam crown, despite not being in her home country since February.
“The past six months have been a roller coaster,” Barty said. “I’m proud of myself and my team for all the effort we put in. It was pretty incredible. I don’t think we could have asked for much more honesty. I wouldn’t change a thing.
“With all the hard times we’ve had, it’s created some of the most enjoyable experiences. I’ve learned so much about myself, about them, the way we work together. It’s been an incredible six months.”
One of her great experiences was playing her first night game at Arthur Ashe Stadium, even at a loss.
“Playing Ashe at night was a great experience. It’s an incredible atmosphere,” she said. “Absolutely incredible. They gave me energy. It seemed quite shocking to me, seemed quite full. It was a lot of fun out there.”
Barty said she took some positives from the game, but won’t dwell on the loss.
“There is a lot that is disappointing, but also a lot that is positive,” she said. “Not a race I will dwell on for too long in the sense that there are so many ‘what ifs’. Millimeters could have changed things.
“You accept that in tennis. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes and you get rid of it pretty quickly.
“I just didn’t have enough in the tank physically or mentally. But that’s OK…I sleep well tonight knowing I gave everything I could. It just wasn’t enough.
“We look forward to celebrating the good things we’ve done, learning from the pain, learning from the experiences and moving on.”