Wright lauds unmissable Barty brilliance

Murray Wenzel |

Australian surfer Tyler Wright is a big Ash Barty fan.
Australian surfer Tyler Wright is a big Ash Barty fan.

After a childhood spent unaware of many would-be heroes, Tyler Wright is just glad nobody’s missing Ash Barty.

The two-time world surf champion will begin her season at Hawaii’s Billabong Pro Pipeline on Sunday (AEST), buoyed by compatriot Barty’s surge to Saturday’s Australian Open final.

The Banzai Pipeline event will be a win for women in the sport as they share the famous wave with the men from round one the first time.

The World Surf League announced equal pay in 2019, another proud moment for trailblazer Wright and her colleagues.

This year the Tour will welcome a record five rookies, who Wright hopes “don’t have to have the fights we’ve had to fight”.

“Representation matters; the women athletes have always been there, it’s just that they’ve never been seen,” she told AAP.

“Even for me, I haven’t heard of so many incredible female athletes, just because they never got the coverage.

“That’s a detriment not only to women, but society. You can learn so much off female athletes because we’ve done more with less.”

Wright is pleased all the eyes are on Barty now, almost two million viewers tuning into her semi-final victory on Thursday.

Her dominance has transcended the sport, PGA Tour star Marc Leishman raving about her form before he teed off in California this week.

Samantha Stosur and Alicia Molik can’t believe how easy she’s made it look while Wright’s admiration of the humble world No.1 is beginning to sound familiar.

“Oh yeah, she’s a gun; an incredible athlete but more an incredible human,” Wright said.

“You can’t get a more top-class athlete in Australia. All the respect in the world for Ash, how she carries herself and she’s exactly who she is.

“She said the other day ‘all I can do is be me, that’s the best I can do’.

“I think that resonates at the moment; just be who you are. That’s an incredibly important message.”