Retired WTA player Ashleigh Barty will mentor Olivia Gadecki as the Queensland prodigy makes her debut at the Australian Open this month.
An unranked Gadecki attracted international attention when she defeated 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin at the WTA 250 Phillip Island Trophy tournament in Melbourne two years ago. Last season she skipped the Australian Open as she refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, so now she’s finally making her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam, as a wildcard helped by none other than the reigning champion Barty.
The three-time major titlist Barty has been mentoring Gadecki for several years and is there to help the 20-year-old make a successful transition to the professional circuit. “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 world No.202 Gadecki told AAP at the United Cup in Sydney.
Following the United Cup, Gadecki will complete her Australian Open preparations at next week’s WTA 250 Hobart International.
This happened!@iga_swiatek x @ashbarty pic.twitter.com/9BHz6yOpkX
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) January 4, 2023
As for the former world No.1 Barty, on Wednesday she attended the United Cup in Brisbane and photographer Jimmie48 took this timeless photo of her with current WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek. (source: Perth Now)
I saw her play last week and she does have potential, but she needs a lot more variety in her shots and to hit less flat as too many going into the net. Wish she wasn’t an anti-vaxer though.