Author: Ash Barty
Publisher: HarperCollins (Australia)
What makes an Aussie hero?
There may not be definitive criteria against which a person’s ‘hero status’ can be measured, but if there were, Ash Barty would undoubtedly tick every box. From the moment she picked up her first tennis racket at age 5 until her last professional tennis match at the 2022 Australian Open Final in which she was victorious, Barty had an exhilarating two-decade long career filled with immense highs and shattering lows.
The public are familiar with Barty’s tenacity and the ferociousness with which she has served her way to Grand Slam wins. In My Dream Time, A Memoir of Tenis and Teamwork, Barty invites us beyond the court and reveals her struggles with the immense pressure to succeed and the loneliness of constantly being on the road.
Her love–hate relationship with tennis persisted throughout her career. Between September 2014 and February 2016, she took a hiatus from professional tennis. However, it was her loss to Daria Kasatkina at Wimbledon in 2018 that signalled the turbulence in her mindset about the game.
In My Dream Time, Barty focuses on the immense grit it took to rebuild her confidence and determination to win, and gives credit to her team for reshaping her thought patterns and supporting her in her journey back to the top. Whilst she shows us glimpses of the ruthless mindset it takes to win, it is the off-court persona of Barty that readers will relate to – a goofy, fun-loving girl you could grab a beer with at the local pub.
Although Barty’s decision to retire whilst she was at the top of her sport was surprising to many, she walks us through her journey to discovering who she is beyond being a tennis champion. Against this backdrop, the reader discovers that her decision to walk away from the sport is an act of bravery and self-love.