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I’m more driven and hungrier than ever before – Barty

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BRISBANE, Australia – French Open champion Ashleigh Barty has said that she is determined to build on her success at Roland Garros in June.

The WTA World No.1 lifted her first Grand Slam title in Paris by defeating Marketa Vondrousova, 6-3, 6-1, the pinnacle of a remarkable summer in which she has ascended to the top of the ranking, reached the last 16 of Wimbledon and won silverware in Birmingham.

She was treated to a hero’s reception in Brisbane, where she was welcomed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as well as a clutch of aspiring tennis professionals.

“I’m more driven and more and more hungry than ever to try and get better – there are still so many players out there that I want to beat,” she said before promising that she will return in January to play the tournament as part of her Australian Open preparations.

“I’m so excited to come back here and play in 2020 – it’ll be home in my own bed, playing in my backyard, and I can’t wait for hopefully a really full crowd and see lots of kids out here.”

Meanwhile, she admitted that she has surpassed her expectations for the year already. 

“It’s been just the most incredible journey for us and my team – it’s happened very quickly,” the 23-year-old said. “We had plans and goals for this year to try and crack into that Top 10 and that was kind of the next level for me and then to be able to get to world number one so quickly has been incredible.

“We worked incredibly hard for it and enjoyed every single minute of it and now the challenge for us is to keep improving and try and stay there as long as we can.”

Ahead of her push for the US Open title, she has pledged to keep her feet firmly on the ground.

“Little things change, but the way I live my life hasn’t changed at all,” she said.

“I’m still exactly the same person. I just have a different number next to my name.

“I have enjoyed every single minute and now I just to get out there and get stuck into the American circuit.”

Barty will go to New York targeting a run into the second week, having made the fourth round for the first time in 2018.