Barty: Turning down Murray was hardest decision but a million girls will jump at Wimbledon chance

Ashleigh Barty would have loved to partner Andy Murray in mixed doubles at Wimbledon but feared her schedule becoming overloaded.

Ashleigh Barty won the recent French Open by beating Marketa Vondroušová in the final.   -  Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty said it was "definitely the hardest decision" of her career after turning down Andy Murray's invitation to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

The Australian received an offer from Murray while she was preparing for the French Open, the tournament she won at the start of June to land her maiden grand slam singles title.

But 23-year-old Barty said a prior agreement to play women's doubles with Victoria Azarenka at Wimbledon meant she had to decline Murray's proposal.

READ| Barty downs Venus to reach semis at Birmingham

She feared her schedule becoming overloaded at a tournament where she is targeting major singles success - and predicted "a million girls" would be queueing up to play with Murray.

"Andy text me before the French [Open] had started and just asked if I was keen to play," Barty said.

"I'd already committed to playing doubles with Vika so I think for me playing three events in a tournament is a bit too much, but it was definitely the hardest decision I've ever had to make to say no."

Murray will not be searching high and low for a partner after a succession of WTA players suggested they would love to play mixed with him at Wimbledon.

Former tour stars Billie Jean King and Pam Shriver also jokingly said they would fancy pairing up with the Scot, who has won the Wimbledon men's singles title twice.

Barty understands why so many would flock to line up alongside the former world number one.

In an interview posted on Twitter by the Lawn Tennis Association, Barty said: "When a champion like Andy asks you to play I tried to justify it in my mind in so many ways, but it just couldn't happen this time.

"But I'm sure he's got a million girls lined up and he can take his pick."

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos