World number one Ashleigh Barty reflects on 'hell of a summer' despite Australian Open semi-final exit
World number one Ashleigh Barty said she 'did not feel super comfortable' during her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Sofia Kenin, but insists she has still had a 'hell of a summer'.
The 23-year-old was looking to secure her second Grand Slam title in front of her home crowd, but lost 7-6 (8) 7-5 to Kenin.
Yet Barty focused on the positives in her post-match press conference, insisting she was proud of what she has accomplished throughout the Australian summer.
She said: "I think a match where I didn't feel super comfortable, I felt like my first plan wasn't working, I couldn't execute it the way i wanted.
"So I tried to go to B and C and I think I had to dig and find a way. (I was) two points away from winning that in straight sets which is disappointing, but knowing that I had to fight and scrap, I gave myself a chance to win the match.
"It's disappointing but it's been a hell of a summer. If you'd have told me three weeks ago that we would have won a tournament in Adelaide and made the semi-final of the Australian Open, I'd take that every single day of the week."
Alongside her while speaking to the press was her baby niece Olivia, who Barty said helped her reflect positively on the state of her career despite her Australian Open defeat.
"This is my newest niece," she added. "My sister just had her 11 or 12 weeks ago. So, yeah, this is what life is all about. It's amazing.
"Perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing. She brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court. I got to give her a hug, it's all good."