EVERYTHING about Ash Barty represented a throwback to a different time, yet she has proven to be the perfect role model for the modern era.
Barty was a brief but welcome outlier in the world of tennis - a sport that for decades has largely rewarded robotic power over hypnotic guile.
She glided around the court working the angles with precision, using an old-fashioned slice backhand to disrupt the rhythm of her one-dimensional, power-obsessed opponents.
When the time was right she would approach the net. Not just to toss the coin or shake hands like so many of her contemporaries, but to actually finish a point with a no-fuss volley into the open court.
Barty could make an opponent look silly. She didn't mean to - she was too nice for that - but nevertheless she did, and often seemed almost apologetic about it.
Off the court she was unfailingly humble, even as the wins and trophies and million-dollar cheques started mounting.
After every triumph she was quick to deflect the attention away from her the individual and onto her "team".
Perhaps part of it was a coping mechanism for handling all the attention, but also there is no doubt she was genuine in acknowledging the role these select few people played in her on-court success.
If everything about Barty's career seemingly belonged to a bygone era then, in hindsight, it should have come as no surprise her retirement would as well.
Before sport turned professional and eye-watering amounts of money started flooding in, it was not uncommon for stars to walk away while at their peak, but it is oh-so rare now.
Although it is sad for fans to know the Barty party is over just as it was getting going, it is refreshing to see someone so determined to contribute in other, equally meaningful ways.
All the best for the week ahead,
Ross Tyson, editor
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