Ashleigh Barty is one match away from becoming Australia’s first Grand Slam winner since 2011, when Samantha Stosur took home the U.S. Open over Serena Williams. Barty, 23, punched her ticket to the French Open final after taking the final two sets over 17-year old American Amanda Anisimova 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3.
She will face off against Markéta Vondroušová of the Czech Republic Sunday at Roland Garros (9 a.m. EST, NBC). Barty is not just Australian, but she is bi-racial.
Her father Robert’s lineage comes from the Ngarigo tribe, who originally inhabited the Canberra region before European settlement drastically decreased their population through the spread of diseases. Meanwhile, her mother Josie’s family arrived from England.
Let’s take a look at Ashleigh’s background.
Ashleigh Barty Ethnicity & Background
When Barty was a junior player in 2011, the Syndey Morning Herald called her the next Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who was a 6-time Grand Slam winner who also carries indigenous heritage.
Barty is flattered, but sagacious in a way that belies her fresh face and few years. ”I don’t think there’s been that many indigenous players in Australia,” she said. But she is glad for the extra recognition her bloodline brings.
Born April 24, 1996, Barty was raised in Springfield, a suburb outside of Ipswich (west of Brisbane). According to the Morning Herald, her parents both worked.
Her father, Robert, works in government, and her mother, Josie, is a radiographer. Robert says Ashleigh didn’t want to play netball like her two older sisters Sara, 26, and Ali, 24 – “didn’t want to play what she thought was a girls’ game” – so she tried tennis.
She attended Woodcrest State College outside of Brisbane throughout her adolescence. Her tennis upbringing, however, started at age four. According to the Brisbane Times, she trained with longtime junior coach Jim Joyce at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre. He didn’t want to train the youngster at first, but was quickly convinced by her skills. Per the Morning Herald:
Joyce doesn’t like kids starting that young. He sends them away until they are seven or eight. “But the first ball I threw to her, bang!” Joyce says. “She hit it right back.” Barty’s hand-eye coordination was exceptional, he says, yet her focus was what truly stood out. “The whole time I was talking to the other kids, twice her age, she was just staring at me. She never took her eyes off me once.”
She excelled on the junior ITF circuit, taking the 2011 Wimbledon title and at one point reaching No. 2 overall. She started on the WTA Tour full-time in 2012. Since then, she ranks No. 8 in the world and has started to find greater success this year at Grand Slam tournaments.
She finished as a quarterfinalist at the 2019 Australian Open, and she is very close to her first title at Roland Garros. A win would add $1.34 million to her already hefty $7,468,480 career earnings.
The win would also have her well on her way to matching Cawley’s six titles. The 23-year old would also catapult herself to not just one of the best Australian players, but one of the best in the world.