Wimbledon 2022: Barnett hails ‘insane’ debut at All England Club

Alicia Barnett entered Wimbledon with no expectations, but ended up having the time of her life.

Gloucestershire’s Barnett received a wildcard into the women’s doubles alongside long-term partner Olivia Nicholls, as well as a mixed doubles wildcard alongside Jonny O’Mara.

And, in her Grand Slam debut, the 28-year-old picked up victories in both events, reaching the second round alongside Nicholls and quarter-final alongside O’Mara.

Her time at the All England Club may have come to an end this year, but Barnett could not have asked for a more positive experience.

“It’s been insane, absolutely insane. I didn’t have any expectations going into Wimbledon,” she said.

“I just wanted to appreciate time on court and I have to say I’ve loved any minute of it and I think that’s reflected in the performances. 

“It’s been a privilege to play in front of a home crowd, especially in my first Grand Slam, and have so many friends and family and the support from Team Bath has been brilliant.”

Barnett perhaps made the most headlines in her second round match alongside O’Mara, where the duo battled past Jamie Murray and Venus Williams in a Wimbledon classic on Court 2.

In front of the biggest crowd she’s ever played in front of, Barnett and O’Mara rallied from a set and a break down to win 3-6 6-4 7-6 [18-16].

With doubles more prominent on the show courts this year, she hopes that matches such as that can provide an even greater platform for the event.

Barnett added: “That was the biggest crowd I’d ever played in front of and it was just an incredible experience. 

“I do think showcasing doubles is incredibly important and I do think the public, especially mixed and especially when you start getting them involved – which I think Jonny and I could both say that we love. 

“I think if we can start pushing the profile of doubles more and more it can start getting more people involved.”

Barnett’s campaign at SW19 ended with a 6-3 6-1 loss to Matt Ebden and Sam Stosur in the quarter-final of the mixed on Tuesday, though still enjoyed the chance to play on Court 2 once again.

She said: “I was pretty nervous going into it, and we were playing some pretty incredible players, very experienced players who have made finals at these tournaments before. 

“It was just incredible to be out there again on that court, especially after playing Venus and Jamie, and I have to say I still enjoyed it. I’m really grateful that I had this opportunity. 

“Jonny was brilliant as always, keeping me loose and making me have fun out there, so I really appreciated his support, even though it didn’t go our way.”

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