I enjoyed reading, My Dream Time, by Ash Barty. The book is a memoir of Ash’s journey in and out of professional tennis. I have followed Ash’s career so I was concerned that I might find it a rehash of what I already knew, however, this wasn’t the case. I appreciated Ash’s honesty as she shared many of her low times including her struggle with depression, low self-esteem and the anxieties associated with being on the Women’s Tennis Tour.
The book begins when Ash lost in the third round at Wimbledon in 2018. This was an odd place to start, but for Ash, it was her lowest point. By then she knew she had the skill to win the tournament, but she couldn’t produce her best form on the court. The next chapter flashes back to Ash’s childhood. The book continues these two streams—moving forward from her Wimbledon loss and the flashbacks to her early years in the sport and her time spent playing cricket. This was an engaging way of telling her story, rather than in chronological order. Though, I would have liked dates included in the chapter titles. I suspect Ash either had a very good editor or a skilled writer who suggested this structure and helped her with the writing process.
Ash uses the book as an opportunity to pay tribute and thank the people who helped her in her career. Her parents and sisters, who made many sacrifices so she could play tennis—her coaches, Jim Joyce, Jason Stoltenberg and Craig Tyzzer, her physiotherapist, Melanie Omizzolo, her manager, Nikki Mathias and her mindset coach, Ben Crowe. She includes brief biographies of her team and also her husband, Gary.
The book is also an insight into professional tennis, the pressures, the loneliness, the difficulties and the realisation that it’s not as glamorous as it looks.
Overall a great read.
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