Ash Barty is Australia’s pride and joy. Not only in the Tennis world but in the Australian Sporting Landscape. She’s not just the best Female tennis player we’ve ever seen, but the Best Australian Tennis player in general we’ve ever seen.
But when it comes to the worlds Tennis coverage, she isn’t getting the plaudits or the respect she deserves. Arguably the biggest market for tennis is the USA and, in their eyes, Naomi Osaka is still the Number 1 player in the world, they don’t even mention our legend in the conversation when it comes to best female tennis player in the world. It’s downright disrespectful.
Not only is she the reigning Wimbledon Champion, but she is also the Number 1 ranked womens player and has been since the 9th of September 2019, 2 years today. While Osaka’s last title yes, also came in 2021, but it was only the Australian Open, a Grand Slam that has no where near the prestige of Wimbledon. She also hasn’t been ranked Number 1 since January 2019. Despite this, the Tennis world in America never recognises Barty’s greatness.
Maybe there’s a bit of bias in the way the US media cover Naomi compared to Ash. Despite being know as a Japanese tennis player, she has a very distinct American athlete and has lived in the US since the age of 3. Because of classic US narcissism they automatically claim her as their own. Shame she didn’t want to be know as an American tennis player, choosing to represent her country of birth, but that’s never stopped the US in the past.
Ash Barty is everything the American media dislike. She’s quiet and doesn’t showboat. She gets the win and moves on, nothing flashy just straight business. She’s the perfect tennis player, a throwback to a bygone era of tennis. Long before the antics of McEnroe, Hewitt, Sharapova and Roddick. She’s more like the great champions of the past like Agassi, Hingis and the all-time Goat Rodger Federer.
Right now, the US Open of Tennis is going on. Probably the second most prestigious of the Grand Slams, mainly because of the revenue it generates and the media it lures to it. The TV rights deals alone are the biggest in tennis. Although that is set to change as ESPN subscriptions have fallen dramatically over the last few years. I listen to a lot of American news and sports podcasts and the only way you would have heard Barty’s name mentioned is when she was unfortunately knocked out by American Shelby Rogers in 3 sets in the third round.
When I heard one show mention it, it was a throw away comment about the Americans through to the 4th round, and literally the host said, “who’d she beat” and the response was “idk someone from Australia I think”. She’s not just someone from Australia! she is the World Number 1 and the greatest player in Tennis Right now, Men’s and Womens. I would love to name and shame the show, but I’m not sure which one it was, so I won’t throw out names recklessly.
Now I shouldn’t be surprised, no matter how big of a name the athlete that knocks an American out of any tournament, be it Tennis, Basketball, Golf or you name the sport. The smugness of the American media is always on show. And I know it’s only the American media that is this way, but when it’s the biggest media market in the world, it can be the difference in Sponsor money, Hall of Fame recognition and other benefits that come to athletes who shine in that market.
Barty shouldn’t be hampered because she chooses to play the game with respect and dignity.