No time to dwell, Ashleigh Barty has set her sights on retaining the US Open doubles crown after crashing out of the singles with a fourth-round shocker at Flushing Meadows.
A philosophical Barty preferred to reflect on a watershed grand slam season, highlighted by her magical French Open triumph in June, than mope about after a 6-2 6-4 loss to Qiang Wang on Sunday.
“It’s been incredible. Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough day at the office today, but it’s been a year where we’ve hit our goals. Obviously I would have loved to have kept going here in singles, but we’ve got an opportunity to do that in doubles,” Barty said.
“Knowing what it was like last year to be able to lift the trophy in doubles was really cool. To be able to have another opportunity to do that now, still being able to play in doubles, is a bonus.
“We’ve had a great season in grand slams for singles. We’ve made the second week every single one, which has been really special.
“Now we’ll sit back, reflect and look forward to a big couple months to finish off the year.”
World No.18 Wang was the highest-ranked rival Barty had played since the French Open semi-finals two months ago – and she was simply unable to rise to the occasion.
The second seed’s numbers told the story, Barty committing 39 unforced errors in 18 games and unable to convert any of nine break-point chances.
“Q was very good, very solid. I felt like she was able to put the ball with great depth in difficult positions for me,” Barty said.
“I still was able to create opportunities. Just very frustrating that on the big points today, Q played a lot better.
“It’s frustrating now. Again, give me an hour and I’ll be right. It’s an opportunity, it’s a new day tomorrow.
“Just because we’ve had a tough hour and a half on the court, it doesn’t reflect on the year that I’ve had or the couple of weeks I’ve had here in New York.
“It’s still going. Still have an opportunity to try to do well with Vika (Azarenka) tomorrow.”
Champion last year with Coco Vandeweghe, Barty and Azarenka are through to the last 16 of the women’s doubles.
The eighth seeds will play American teenage sensation Coco Gauff and fellow prodigy Caty McNally a quarter-final destined for Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Obviously playing with Coco last year, I had every intention to play with Coco in Australia (at the start of the year), kind of begin that again,” Barty said of her switch in partners.
“But after her (ankle) injury, it was a bit of a last-minute thing where I just texted Vika and said: ‘Look, I don’t have a partner. Would you be keen to play in Australia?”
“We’ve just kind of gone from there.”