TENNIS: Casey Dellacqua has warned the Australian public not to heap too much pressure on Ashleigh Barty after the young gun's run to the Australian Open third round last week.
Barty, 20, was lost to tennis for 18 months after taking a break from the sport in 2014.
Her comeback is not even a year old and the Queenslander made a surprise appearance in the round of 32 last week, eventually losing in three sets to German Mona Barthel.
Dellacqua and Barty made three grand slam doubles finals in 2013 and are back playing together once more.
But the 31-year-old says people should not expect too much too soon from her young partner, despite the promise she has shown this month.
"I'm thrilled for her, she's put in the hard work and it's paying off and she's been rewarded for that hard work," Dellacqua said.
"I don't think there needs to be any more expectation put on her because Ash puts enough pressure on her own shoulders to be the best she can be.
"She's going through her journey, we need to let her.
"Until you've been in her shoes and really understand what she's been through from a young age, you probably don't quite appreciate just how much she's been through.
"She's had so much experience in such a short period of time. And I think she's handled all that with so much grace and positivity so far."