Advertisement

Australian tennis legend Ash Barty touched hearts after she joined in the standing ovation for her opponent Carla Suárez Navarro.

She wanted to pay tribute to Navarro who was playing in her 11th and final Wimbledon after intensive cancer treatment.

Suárez Navarro, a former world No 6, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last year and underwent eight sessions of chemotherapy.

Barty ended up winning the match 6-1, 6-7 (1) and 6-1.

“She’s a hell of a competitor, a hell of a fighter,” Barty said. “It was a privilege to be able to share that moment, share that court with her. I hadn’t had the opportunity to play Carla. It was really special to be able to experience what she can bring from the other side of the court.

“I think all credit goes to her for her resilience and her nature as a competitor, to be able to come back from the adversity that she has, and to be able to have that moment with her was nothing shy of remarkable.”

Barty joined in on the standing ovation at the end of the match as well.

“I just said to her: ‘It was a pleasure to share the court with you.’ She’s an exceptional person, a great fighter, a great competitor, and very well loved and respected in the locker room. She’s going to be sorely missed.”

Suárez Navarro explained that she enjoyed the experience despite not winning the match.

“I think I played a really good game,” she said. “I was enjoying the match. I’m trying to do my best. I know what I have to do to win the match, but my body is not the same as it was two years ago. When I spend time on court, I feel tired.”

Wimbledon has always had a special place in her heart as it’s “so beautiful”.

“This is one of the most beautiful tournaments of the year. Always when I come back, I’m really happy to be here. Everything is so beautiful.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.