• Ashleigh Barty returns a shot to Shelby Rogers during the third round of the US Open tennis championships, (AP)Source: AP
The Ngarigo woman and World Number 1 says she is proud of an "incredible" past six months, despite her third round Open defeat to Shelby Rogers.
By
AAP

Source:
AAP-NITV
6 Sep 2021 - 9:06 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2021 - 9:06 AM

Ash Barty is digesting one of the most deflating defeats of her celebrated career after crashing out of the US Open with a shock third-round collapse against inspired American Shelby Rogers.

Barty blew a 5-2 double-break lead in the deciding set of a dramatic 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-5) loss to the 43rd-ranked Rogers at Flushing Meadows.

Barty had beaten the unseeded 28-year-old in their previous five encounters, including four times this season, leaving even Rogers open-mouthed in disbelief after her stunning comeback win.

Australia's vanquished world No.1 admitted "it's a tough one to swallow".

"It's never nice when you have a couple opportunities to serve out a match and can't get it done ... brutal," Barty said.

"I found a way back into my match. I found a way to really turn it in my favour and just wasn't able to just quite finish off.

"In the end, I just didn't quite have enough in the tank.

"I've left everything out on the court this year. It was no different tonight.

"It's disappointing but we move on. I sleep well tonight knowing I gave everything I could."

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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.

Unsure of her immediate plans, Barty said her earliest exit in New York since 2017 wouldn't take the gloss off another memorable season in which the 25-year-old captured her second grand-slam crown, at Wimbledon, among a tour-topping five titles.

"The last six months have been a roller coaster," Barty said.

"I think back to the very first match that I played on this trip.

"I was 5-2 down in the third set in the first round of Miami. Tennis has a funny way of evening things out, doesn't it?

"I've played a bunch of matches this year where I've come from a break down or late in the set, opponents trying to serve out the match. Sometimes you get to-and-fro.

"You can't win every single tennis match.

"I'm proud of myself and my team for all the efforts we've put in in the last six months. It's been pretty incredible.

"I don't think we could have asked for much more honestly."

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The Ngarigo woman and World Number 1 hopes to inspire First Nations youth in a similar way as her idol, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.