Shenzhen: Newly-crowned WTA Finals champion Ashleigh Barty hopes to punctuate her "incredible" season by leading Australia to a drought-breaking Fed Cup triumph over France.
The world number one captured the $14 million year-ender with a dominant 6-4, 6-3 victory over defending champion Elina Svitolina on Sunday, and scooped the richest prize in tennis history with a paycheque of US$4.42 million.
She became the fifth debutant to lift the trophy and continued her remarkable season, which includes winning her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros and becoming the first Australian to hold the year-end top ranking.
The 23-year-old, however, still has unfinished business and will spearhead Australia's Fed Cup team against France in Perth on November 9-10. Australia has not won the prestigious competition since 1974.
"I can't wait to get to Perth and then start preparing for what will be the most perfect way to end a season," Barty told reporters. "This Fed Cup final is something I've been looking forward to for a long time.
"It's been two or three years in the making for the current team that we've got," she added.
It's been a whirlwind rise for Barty, who took a break from tennis in 2014 and briefly played professional cricket in Australia before returning on the WTA circuit in 2016.
"That kind of period of my life that I had away from tennis was really important for my development as a person more than anything," she said.
"When I came back into the sport, it was about making my own decisions and being completely 100 percent all in and accountable for all of my actions and decisions that I made."
When her off-season finally arrives, Barty hoped to continue expanding her game ahead of her home Grand Slam.
"It's just been the most incredible season. I'm still extremely hungry to see what the best kind of version of Ash Barty there is," she said.
"For us Australians, we're extremely lucky to be able to start that month (January) in Australia. It's going to be a really, really special time in my life."
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Updated Date: Nov 03, 2019 21:45:50 IST