Ashleigh Barty won’t be defending her Australian Open title this January but she will be in Melbourne mentoring 20-year-old Australian Olivia Gadecki, per AAP. Barty, who in 2022 became the first Australian woman in 44 years to win the Australian Open, announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25 two months after winning her third Grand Slam in Melbourne.
Gadecki, ranked at No 202 in the world, has been mentored by Barty for quite some time and now she will have the former world No 1 in her corner during the Australian Open. “I’ve been really fortunate to always be able to contact her if I have any questions or if I need advice, she’s always been there for me.
The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court,” Gadecki told AAP.
Gadecki thrilled to have Barty in her corner
“Just her application.
She’s just really good at being consistent with everything she goes about,” Gadecki added. Meanwhile, Gadecki – who is one of the most talented and promising Australian players – is set to make her Australian Open main draw debut.
In 2021, Gadecki tried to earn a main draw place through the qualifying event but didn’t manage to do so after losing in the Australian Open qualifying second round. For 2022, Tennis Australia had an Australian Open main draw wildcard lined up for Gadecki.
But Gadecki refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine and comply with the government’s vaccine rules at the time. Because of that, Tennis Australia had no other choice but to redirect that wildcard to another Australian player.
But now, Gadecki is set for her Australian Open main draw debut. Gadecki will have a former world No 1 in her corner and she will certainly certainly receive some great advice before and during the tournament.