My Dream Time
By Ash Barty
It’s a tennis story. It’s a family story. It’s a teamwork story. It’s the story of how I got to where and who I am today.
I’m only in my mid-twenties, and some might think that’s young to write a memoir. Who does that, right? But for me and my team it’s always been important to reflect on every part of the journey, especially the end. In that context, the timing is perfect to share my story, from the first time I picked up a racquet as a 5-year-old girl in Ipswich to the night I packed up my tennis bag at Melbourne Park after winning the 2022 Australian Open. This book gives me a chance to look back at every moment of the 20 years in between, and to think carefully through the highs and lows, the work and the play, the smiles and the tears.
Telling my story also gives me an opportunity to do more than simply thank those who mean the most to me – it provides a way to honour them as an integral part of that tale, as the very secret behind my success. Some of them you might know – such as my longtime coach, Craig Tyzzer – and some of them you might not – like my first childhood coach, Jim Joyce. There are mates like Casey Dellacqua and Alicia Molik. Mentors such as tennis icon Evonne Goolagong Cawley and mindset coach Ben Crowe. My parents and sisters and my husband have sacrificed as much as I have over the years – this book is also for them.
My Dream Time is about finding the path to being the best I could be, not just as an athlete but as a person, and to consider the way those identities overlap and compete. We all have a professional and a personal self. How do you conquer nerves and anxiety? How do you deal with defeat, or pain? What drives you to succeed – and what happens when you do? The answers tell me so much, about bitter disappointments and also dreams realised – from injuries and obscurity and self-doubt to winning Wimbledon and ranking number 1 in the world.
My story is about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you, about the importance of purpose – and perspective – in our lives.
About the author:
Australian Ashleigh Barty was a professional tennis player on the Women’s Tennis Association tour from 2011 to 2022 (with a break from late 2014 to early 2016). Widely regarded as one of the sport’s most naturally talented players, Ash’s game style and ability to play a wide variety of shots set her apart from her opponents. Ash’s off-court manner endeared her further to the tennis community and fans around the world. With her signature unassuming approach, confidence to forge her own path and commitment to being a good person before all else, she became a role model for many. Ash announced her retirement from professional tennis in March 2022. Ranked WTA World No. 1 and the reigning ladies singles champion at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, she departed from the sport as one of the most accomplished players ever. Her tennis achievements include: 3 Grand Slam singles titles, 1 Grand Slam doubles title, 12 WTA singles titles, 11 WTA doubles titles and an Olympic bronze medal for mixed doubles. Ash held the WTA World No. 1 ranking for 114 consecutive weeks, the fourth-longest streak in tour history, behind Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (also 186) and Martina Navratilova (156). In all, Ash spent 121 weeks at World No. 1, the seventh most in WTA tour history, surpassed only by Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Hingis and Monica Seles. A proud First Nations woman, Ash is committed to creating sport and education opportunities for youth in communities around Australia. A passionate reader and advocate for children’s literacy, Ash has published the best-selling Little Ash series for ages 5 and up. Ash is a huge believer in the long-term benefits of reading for children, and the Little Ash series engages young readers due to its popular themes of sport, family, friendship and school, plus its appealing illustrations and easy-to-read language. Ash’s next chapter is yet to be written but will certainly involve a new set of goals and dreams, expanding her community work, spending time with her family and her dogs, and enjoying many sports as a fan.
Publisher: Harper Collins