Ash Barty has Olympic aims.
Ash Barty has Olympic aims.

Patriotic Ash has Tokyo gold firmly in sights

Having already conquered her slam demons, Ash Barty is now eyeing off Olympic success, with being on the same team as close friend Steph Gilmore holding plenty of appeal.

Barty is desperate to be on the same team as friend and champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore as the nation's elite female athletes bid to continue their extraordinary international success.

"Australia has a proud Olympic history and the chance to be part of a team of talented and inspirational athletes from different sports is incredible," Barty said.

 

Ash Barty has her eyes on a big Olympic prize.
Ash Barty has her eyes on a big Olympic prize.

"The prospect of representing my country alongside a friend like Stephanie Gilmore is also pretty exciting."

Apart from personal success, Barty has piloted Australia into November's Fed Cup final with a string of jaw-dropping displays.

In the process, she has satisfied many of the Olympic eligibility clauses around selection.

Final selection will be decided in June next year based on rankings.

Apart from being ranked No 1 in singles, Barty sits at No 7 in doubles and also excels in mixed doubles.

Ash Barty wants to be on the same team as Steph Gilmore.
Ash Barty wants to be on the same team as Steph Gilmore.

She is certain to be selected, barring injury.

And given the fact Barty revels on Asian hardcourts, the Tokyo Games have immense appeal.

"Representing Australia is a privilege," she said.

"For me, Fed Cup weeks are the most special of the year and in 2020, I will also get the opportunity to put my hand up for the Tokyo Olympics."

Puerto Rican Monica Puig won the women's singles in Rio in 2016, where Australia was represented by Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova.

 

Monica Puig won Olympic gold in 2016.
Monica Puig won Olympic gold in 2016.

Australia had two teams in doubles - Gavrilova and Stosur and sisters Anastasia and Arina Rodionova.

The men's contingent featured Sam Groth, John Millman and Thanasi Kokkinakis with John Peers and Chris Guccione in doubles.

Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios opted out of the Games after criticism from then chef de mission Kitty Chiller.

Australia's only gold medal in tennis so far came in Atlanta in 1996, when Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the doubles.

Alicia Molik is the nation's only singles medallist, earning a bronze in Athens in 2004.