Australian Open: Ash Barty pays tribute to his team after winning at Melbourne Park

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January 21, 2020 06:31:26

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To some, it may seem strange that, in an individual sport like tennis, Ash Barty often uses the word "team".

Barty praised his "team" after she won her first major at the French Open last June; she made another mention of her "team" when she climbed to the number one ranking in the world a few weeks later.

And she highlighted the work of her "team" once again after surviving a severe test in her departure from the first round of the Australian Open, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory against Ukrainian tenacious Lesia Tsurenko on Monday night.

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Barty's humility is well known and she was never ashamed to credit those who helped her achieve what she has during her young career.

She believes that if she wants to win the Australian Open in less than a fortnight, it will be those in her box, led by her unassuming coach Craig Tyzzer, who will be part of the victory as she is.

"I'm doing this with my team," Barty told the media in Melbourne Park after his triumph over Tsurenko.

"We are doing this as a team. We are loving it. We are adopting. There is no other way to approach it.

"I think we are going for a walk, trying to play good tennis."

A familiar face for Barty was also sitting with his camp inside Rod Laver Arena, while she fought a set to defeat Tsurenko.

Jim Joyce was Barty's junior coach at West Brisbane Tennis Center, working for the first time when she was just four.

Joyce may have handed over the training reins long ago, but he is still available to advise his old position at any time.

"It's always nice to have Jim here," said Barty.

"Actually, I saw him in Brisbane (at Brisbane International), I asked him if he was coming down. I didn't know if he was or not. It's always nice to have Jimbo there.

"I know he's always a sounding board if and when I need it. He doesn't have much to say these days. He's happy to just sit and watch."

"Obviously, he has complete confidence in Tyz (Tyzzer). I have complete confidence in Tyz. But it is always good to know that when we need to work on something, he is just a phone call away. He can usually fix it by telephone.

"So he is very good."

Barty faces tough Open draw

Just as Tsurenko played on the opening set, Barty is aware that he will need to improve his performance, considering how difficult his tie will become, the deeper it will be in the tournament.

She acknowledged that she made "too many mistakes" before prevailing against Tsurenko, but she is unlikely to receive a similar breathing space if she reaches the semi-finals, where she can meet Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams.

But if Barty makes it to the last four, she may face last year's finalist Petra Kvitova in her fourth draw, as well as American 18th seed Alison Riske, who shocked the Australian with a three-set loss in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year.

Barty, however, is no stranger to returning to the drawing board during a major graduation and she knows she can work on her game with her "team" in her corner, as she seems to become the first place to win the Australian Open since 1978 .

"I feel like we were able to do this better and better in every Grand Slam tournament I played," said Barty.

"It's an experience thing. You have to learn to deal with it, but it's getting better."

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First published

January 21, 2020 5:53:13 AM

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