Tennis fans in frenzy over Ash Barty move amid huge development for Aussies at Wimbledon

The 2021 champion is back at Wimbledon this year, and tennis fans are all saying the same thing.

Ash Barty's foray into commentary at Wimbledon has proven an overwhelming success, with tennis fans raving over the Aussie star's analysis and insight on Monday. The retired Aussie champion once said she'd never get into commentary, but on Monday she proved to be a natural behind the microphone.

Barty was in action on BBC's coverage of the first day of play at the All England Club, and her appearance delighted tennis fans. The 28-year-old announced her shock retirement from tennis in 2022, just two months after winning the Australian Open for her third career grand slam title.

She has mostly remained out of the spotlight ever since, but is making a rare appearance at Wimbledon this year - where she won the title in 2021. As well as doing some commentary, Barty will also play in the legends doubles tournament with former playing partner Casey Dellacqua.

Ash Barty, pictured here in commentary for BBC on the first day of Wimbledon.
Ash Barty was in commentary for BBC on the first day of Wimbledon. Image: BBC

Barty's name was trending on social media on Monday (Tuesday night Aussie time), and it was all glowing praise. "Ash Barty is exactly whose opinion I want to hear on these matches, great to have her back," one person wrote.

Another person commented: "GREAT chat on Wimbledon with Ash Barty and Johanna Konta about mothers continuing to play tennis after having kids. And smashing it! LOVE IT." While a third added: "You just know that Ash Barty is going to be marvellous on commentary."

Ash Barty, pictured here on the microphone at Wimbledon.
Ash Barty on the microphone at Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Dellacqua said last week about re-uniting with Barty: “This is why I love tennis, because it doesn’t matter at what level, I get an opportunity to play with my best mate who, yes, is an extremely good player and has won the (Wimbledon) Championships before. We’re just gonna have a great time and enjoy just being back together as friends on a tennis court, which we have loved to do our whole life.

"I’m actually really excited about it. We’re now in a different stage of our life. We’ve both got kids, we chat about different things, but hey, the tennis doesn’t change. The tennis is always there. And that’s what kind of is the glue that brought us together. So we’re really lucky.”

It was a great day for Australia at Wimbledon on Monday, with Daria Saville, Jordan Thompson and Aleksandr Vukic all winning through to the second round. Vukic and fellow Sydneysider Thompson delivered battling five-set wins, while Saville made it a hat-trick of first-round triumphs for the Australian contingent.

Thompson became the first Aussie through to the second round when he came from two sets behind to beat Russian Pavel Kotov in four hours and six minutes. Vukic then followed up with a rollercoaster victory over Austria's Sebastian Ofner in just under four hours that earned him a shot at Spanish champion Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday.

Jordan Thompson, Daria Saville and Aleksander Vukic at Wimbledon.
Jordan Thompson, Daria Saville and Aleksander Vukic all won through to the second round at Wimbledon. Image: Getty

Vukic has beaten Alcaraz once before, but that was in French Open qualifying in 2020 when the latter was just 17. "It'll mean a lot to me," he said. "It's the first, but hopefully not the last time I play on the biggest stage. It'll be new territory for me and I am very excited to experience it.

"(Playing Alcaraz) will be a great honour and a great challenge, but also another match that I get to test myself. I don't think he liked me beating me. I'm sure we'll both remember it. But he was just a kid then."

RELATED:

Saville followed Thompson onto Court 10 and beat American Peyton Stearns 6-4 6-2. It helped dispel the memory of her last match at Wimbledon in 2023 when she was disrupted and distracted by climate activists invading the arena and lost to Katie Boulter.

It wasn't as good news for fellow Aussie Alex Bolt, who went down to No.8 seed Casper Ruud after battling through qualifying to make the main draw. Bolt took the three-time grand slam finalist to a first set tie-break before succumbing 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 -6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.

with AAP