Josie Dooley (main picture and inset) is a big fan of Ashleigh Barty, who she is pictured with after their Ipswich doubles win. Picture: AAP
Josie Dooley (main picture and inset) is a big fan of Ashleigh Barty, who she is pictured with after their Ipswich doubles win. Picture: AAP

Barty isn’t just a freak at tennis, cricket

NO MATTER what happens in her cricket career, Melbourne Renegades WBBL rising star Josie Dooley can always brag she once won a tennis tournament with world No.1 Ashleigh Barty.

Dooley, 19, grew up in Queensland, where she also dabbled in tennis and played under the same junior coach as Barty at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre.

In 2014, when Barty was on her sabbatical from the pro tennis circuit, the pair teamed up to blitz the field at the little-known Ipswich Open to take the doubles title.

Dooley admitted she mostly just stood back and watched at times.

"I was lucky enough to have her on my team," Dooley said with a laugh.

"I think I was better off standing off the court and letting her do it all.

"I do say now that it was her first win back after her break, so I take a bit of credit I reckon."

Barty also played some cricket before returning to the professional tennis ranks, where and is now the game's top ranked player and a grand slam champion.

Dooley said he had no doubt Barty would have reached the same heights in cricket had she decided to stick with the summer sport.

"She would have played for Australia for sure," Dooley said.

"She was leading run-scorer in our first-grade competition in Brisbane and that was her first season of cricket ever.

"She'd never picked up a cricket bat before that, she's just a freak and also one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

"I always looked up to her when I was younger and I think it was the person she is."

Dooley stumps Chloe Tryon of the Hurricanes earlier this month. Picture: AAP
Dooley stumps Chloe Tryon of the Hurricanes earlier this month. Picture: AAP

The Renegades wicketkeeper said there was another sport Barty would dominate if she wanted to.

"She's also a gun golfer," she said.

"I think she could definitely quit tennis now and make it pro in golf."

Dooley will Wednesday face her former side Brisbane Heat, who she won a WBBL title with last season before joining the Renegades.

"I can't wait to rip into them," she said.

"They've been incredible all season and I think we're really going to need to take it to them early on in the game with ball and bat.

"And hopefully we can try to get on top of them and ride that momentum."