Barty accepts shock defeat

25 February 2021 19:30:26 GMTPlus10

World number one Ashleigh Barty said her shock defeat to American Danielle Collins demonstrated the competitive nature of top-level tennis.

Barty, the defending champion at the Adelaide International, suffered a 6-3 6-4 reverse to Collins in her first match of this year's tournament.

That followed last week's surprise Australian Open exit against Karolina Muchova at the quarter-final stage of Barty's home Grand Slam, which was eventually won by Naomi Osaka.

The Aussie took her defeat to Collins on the chin, but has pulled out of next week's Qatar Open due to a niggling leg injury as she focuses on sharpening up her form and fitness after a disappointing start to 2021.

Barty won the French Open in 2019 and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open last year. She has never got beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, but is among the favourites to claim the title in south-west London this year.

Speaking after her defeat in Adelaide the 24-year-old said: "You know that there are no easy matches going into any tournament.

"We prepare in the right way and in the end, the result, it just is what it is, it's not always going to go your way.

"You can't win every single tennis match, but you can sure as hell approach it the right way. And from my team and from me, we did that this week and we just didn't quite get that result."

Ashleigh Barty is 6.00 to win the 2021 French Open and 7.50 to land the Wimbledon title.

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