Tennis royalty Evonne Goolagong Cawley praises Ashleigh Barty
Evonne Goolagong Cawley is already a fan of Ashleigh Barty’s game but watching her hit a slice backhand has convinced the tennis great she can lead Australia for your first Fed Cup title in 45 years.
Goolagong Cawley was the spearhead when Australia last won the title in 1974 and she was in the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday as Barty levelled their semi-final using a quality Belarus outfit 1-1. Now No.9 on this planet, Barty produced some fine tennis to conquer former world No.1 and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after Samantha Stosur lost the opener 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka.
Barty prepares for friendly Belarus fire at Fed Cup
Goolagong Cawley was lavish with praise for any 22-year-old from Ipswich making special reference to the slice backhand she familiar with pick apart a free-swinging Azarenka. “She’s got great hands, fantastic, it (the slice backhand) was something I enjoyed inside my career,” she said. “Every time I saw her make it happen I believed ‘oh that will have felt good.’ The majority of the players today, while using the style and grip, are not appearing to love that shot this is helped her arrive at the lot of matches.”
Goolagong Cawley’s memory of her last Fed Cup triumph is hazy but she is certain Barty can beat Sabalenka in Sunday’s reverse singles and, if needed, lead Australia to some home final with victory from the fifth doubles rubber.
But she didn’t hold on there, predicting big things for any Queenslander once May’s French Open. “It’s this sort of pleasure to view Ash play. She’s got many skills, has improved outside of sight,” she said.
“Yeah she’s getting there, I do think she’s quite perfect for winning a grand slam and contains proved it already. She’s got a lot more confidence now than That i have ever seen and seems to be really enjoying against eachother there … earth’s her oyster.”