Lord's balcony fitting stage for tennis's first lady Barty

London (AFP) –


Australia's women's tennis world number one Ashleigh Barty has achieved another dream -- standing on the balcony at Lord's, the home of cricket.

The 23-year-old French Open champion, who last Sunday emulated compatriot Evonne Goolagong Cawley in topping the women's world rankings, was invited onto the balcony by the Australian men's cricket team after they beat England in their World Cup match.

Barty had pulled out of the Eastbourne tournament due to a sore arm which she says is now absolutely fine.

So, as she rested her injury, she headed to Lord's.

"It's always good when Aussies beat the English, isn't it?" said Barty, who once took a break from tennis to play professional cricket.

"At Lords, it was incredible.

"The Australian cricket team were nice enough to invite us into the dressing rooms, as well, which was a bucket list item.

"Standing on the balcony at Lords was pretty incredible."

Barty, like Goolagong Cawley an indigenous Australian, said being number one had not changed her outlook.

"They've (her rivals) all been pretty cruise-y (super-chilled), to be honest," said Barty, who anticipates a tough opening match against China's Zheng Saisai.

"I've had a nice reception from a lot of the players. It's nice to get that respect and acknowledgment from your peers.

"Knowing in a couple days' time that's all pushed aside and we'll go play hard."