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Refreshed Barty swaps bat for racquet

After a stint in the WBBL, former junior Wimbledon champ switches back to tennis

Ashleigh Barty, a former junior Wimbledon champion who switched to cricket for the inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, has returned to tennis.

The 19-year-old swapped her tennis racquet for a cricket bat earlier this summer and immediately impressed in two games for Western Suburbs in the Brisbane Women’s Premier Cricket competition last October.

Barty was then quickly signed by the Brisbane Heat for the first WBBL.

After slamming a 27-ball 39 in her first match against the Melbourne Stars, Barty reached double figures only once more for the tournament, with the Heat finishing sixth in the competition.

ashleigh barty

Ash Barty competes in the US Open in 2014 //Getty

With her cricketing future unclear, Barty was positive about her experience in the WBBL.

"It was an unbelievable opportunity to completely do something really different,” she told the WTA website. “The support and everything I got from cricket was phenomenal.

“Having that competitive edge brought me back into that aspect of tennis, as well, getting out there and competing and sharing it with other people.

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"It was just nice to refresh and do something different."

Barty, who took out the junior Wimbledon women’s title at age 15 and has made three Grand-Slam doubles finals appearances, said her success in tennis at such a young age led to her decision to give cricket a go.

"It was obviously phenomenal, but it all happened a little bit too quickly," she said.

"I went from not being known anywhere in the world to winning junior Wimbledon and six months later playing the Australian Open.

“I was a victim of my own success, really.”