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'Roland Garros is a fresh start,' says Ashleigh Barty ahead of Europe return

Ashleigh Barty at Miami Open

Ashleigh Barty has described Roland Garros as a 'fresh start' as she prepares to play on a European clay court for the first time in nearly two years.

The world number one is playing Stuttgart this week after deciding to skip the European events last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That meant she did not defend the French Open title she won in 2019, and now she's ready to make up for lost time.

“It’s a long time since I’ve played at the French Open,” Barty said. “It’s a fresh start, a fresh start for everyone at that event.

“If you go into a tournament thinking you’re defending your title, it’s the wrong way to approach it.

“It’s a fresh tournament, and it’s a new opportunity.”

Ashleigh Barty successfully defended her Miami Open title earlier this month to strengthen her grip on the world number one spot.

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However, she says she tries not to get too wrapped up in results as performances mean just as much to her.

“From the outside it’s judged on results, which can be accurate,” she said.

“There have been times I’ve felt I’ve been in great form but haven’t been winning matches and vice versa.

"Other ones when I haven’t been able to find anything close to the middle of the racket but you find a way through matches.

“It’s important not to be completely results driven when you’re thinking of your form.”

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