• Ashleigh Barty and John Peers play during a semifinals match of the tennis competition at the Tokyo Olympics. (AP)Source: AP
World Number 1 Ash Barty and her partner John Peers claimed the bronze medal after Novak Djokovic pulled out of the third placed playoff.
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AAP-NITV
1 Aug 2021 - 8:35 AM  UPDATED 1 Aug 2021 - 8:39 AM

Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Ash Barty has added an Olympic bronze medal to her collection after Novak Djokovic was a late scratching from the pair's much-anticipated mixed doubles showdown in Tokyo.

Ngarigo woman Barty and her one-time housemate John Peers were awarded Australia's 27th medal of the Games when Djokovic was unable to back up to partner Nina Stojanovic following a sapping two-hour, 47-minute singles bronze medal playoff loss to Pablo Carreno Busta earlier on Saturday.

The Serbian superstar's late no-show robbed fans of a rare clash between tennis' two world No.1s.

But it secured Australia's first Olympic tennis medal since Alicia Molik claimed bronze in the women's singles in Athens 17 years ago.

Ash Barty's name etched in history with Wimbledon win
The Ngarigo woman said she hoped she made her idol proud following her three-set win over Karolina Pliskova, which came 50 years after Evonne Goolagong-Cawley first raised the iconic silverware.

Barty and Peers had suffered semi-final heartbreak on Friday night, letting slip a match point and the chance to play for gold in a 5-7 6-4 13-11 loss to Russians Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

But after suffering a shock first-round loss as the singles top seed to Spain's world No.47 Sara Sorribes Tormo and then crashing out in the third round of the doubles with Storm Sanders, Barty's debut Olympics had a happy ending on the podium.

Barty lived with the Peers family five years ago in Melbourne during the early stages of her comeback to tennis following an 18-month hiatus, making their medal extra special and not the least bit hollow after Djokovic's pull-out.

"For Johnny and I, it's incredible," Barty said.

"I think we've put ourselves in the position, over the whole week, to play good tennis. We've played great. I felt like we really deserve this one.

"It's what you dream of as a child. Being part of an Olympic Games but also not being here just to make up the numbers.

"We came here to win a medal for our country and now, to do that, I know it's been a long time since the tennis team has brought home a medal for the Australian team.

"So it's really exciting. We're rapt. We're going to enjoy tonight, enjoy tomorrow and really soak it all in."

Ash Barty's wish for next generation of First Nations children
The Ngarigo woman and World Number 1 hopes to inspire First Nations youth in a similar way as her idol, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.