Tennis ace honoured on court
IF WINNING at Wimbledon wasn't enough to make Ashleigh Barty a household name, then Ipswich City Council's latest toast to this tenacious champ should do the trick.
At the tender age of 15, Ashleigh has been honoured with having her local community tennis court named after her.
What was formerly known as the Springfield Lakes Tennis Court became the Ashleigh Barty Tennis Court on Saturday, with the world's number four junior women's player enjoying her first home-ground hit out – with Mayor Paul Pisasale – since returning home.
“It has been hectic. There has been a lot of attention on me – I didn't expect it,” Ashleigh said.
“Having my name on the court is something a little bit different.
"It was unexpected but I am really appreciative of what Ipswich City Council has done and the way they have recognised what I have achieved.”
Ashleigh started her tennis career at Richlands, in Brisbane's south-west, but had enjoyed a few hits on the local Springfield Lakes court over the years.
Having enjoyed a week and a half of what is now considered rare family time, Ashleigh will begin to focus on continuing the form that has seen her shoot to the top of the world junior tennis rankings.
“My tournament schedule may change a little towards the start of next year, but I'll stay in the juniors for another year and a half to two years.
"I want to make the most out of those years,” she said.
Cr Pisasale said Ashleigh had become a great ambassador for the city of Ipswich.
“She has just become junior Wimbledon champion and she has not forgotten that Ipswich is her home,” he said.