Retired Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty is returning to Melbourne Park for this yr’s occasion to mentor native hope Olivia Gadecki, who obtained a wildcard for the season’s first Grand Slam.
Former world primary Barty referred to as time on her profession final March, shortly after ending her nation’s 44-year anticipate a house champion on the Australian Open.
World quantity 202 Gadecki mentioned on the United Cup in Sydney that Barty can be in her camp at Melbourne Park for the Jan. 16-29 match.
“I’ve been really fortunate to always be able to contact her if I have any questions or if I need advice, she has always been there for me,” Gadecki advised the Australian Associated Press.
“The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court.”
The 20-year-old will start her Australian Open preparations at subsequent week’s Hobart International.
Gadecki made solely the second spherical of qualifying in 2021 for this competitors, along with her first main-draw victory on the WTA Tour coming in February that yr. Her first top-10 win got here towards Sofia Kenin that month.
Last yr, Gadecki didn’t partake within the Australian Open as a result of not being vaccinated towards Covid-19, with native shops reporting a “family influenced” choice to stay unvaccinated.
Additional reporting by Reuters