How do you explain cricket to an American? Or to the rest of the world where the sport is not that popular? That was the task at hand for Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty when she sat down with Coco Gauff on the sidelines of an exhibition match at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. The tournament works as a precursor to the next week’s US Open grand slam in New York.

 Watch: Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty tries to explain cricket rules to American teenager Coco Gauff

Ashleigh Barty of Australia reacts during her match against Maria Sakkari in Cincinnati. Reuters/USA Today Sports

Not long ago, Barty gave up tennis to regenerate batteries and move to a sport where she had the support of teammates and not the loneliness of tennis. She played in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia before finding love for tennis once again. As a result, her game improved and the result came in the form of her first grand slam in Paris and a World No 1 ranking soon after.

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But how to explain cricket to a peer was not something she would have imagined. Best strategy? Compare it with another sport and what better than baseball. In a breezy conversation between the duo, which intrigued the interviewer also at one stage, Barty tried to explain the nuances of cricket such as wickets vs bases, objective of the game, and said “To score as many runs as you can. Which is either running up and between the wickets or hitting it to the different parts of the ground.”

They won’t have much time going over footage of cricket matches with the US Open starting Monday. Barty, the second seed, is up against Zarina Diyas in the opening round while Gauff, the 2017 US Open junior champion and teenager who caught the attention of everyone at Wimbledon, will face Anastasia Potapova in her opener.


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