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January 12, 2018

Ashleigh Barty

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. BARTY/D. Gavrilova

3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a pretty slow start for you, but you managed to turn it around. How did you manage to change things?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I don't think it was as much slow as just the rhythm wasn't quite there. I think I shot myself in the foot with my serving in the first and didn't give myself an opportunity to be dominant on service games.

Against Dash, she's a world-class returner and puts pressure on you right from the get-go. For me, it was nice to find the rhythm eventually but would definitely like to see it a little bit earlier in matches.

Q. Do you think her having an extra day's rest was a factor?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Not in the way that I played, no. Her having an extra day off had nothing to do with the way that I was playing.

I felt great yesterday. I felt like I played my best tennis probably all year. Today it wasn't quite as good, but it was good enough to get the win.

Q. What's it mean to make your first home final?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's amazing. It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's perfect preparation for next week. I mean, I'd love to go one further and hold the trophy up here, but, you know, I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home. It's nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final.

Q. The rhythm you were talking about was something you spoke about the other night with your serving. Is that a concern for you heading into next week?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: No concern. I mean, I'm still able to win tennis matches. I think even though it may not be perfect at the moment, it's still good enough to win matches.

Yes, I would like it to be better. I think I would love it to be perfect, but I don't think that's ever going to happen (smiling). We will keep chipping away.

It's tricky playing on that court. It's very swirly at court level. The ball toss is inconsistent. It hold up or it can drop quite quickly. It's tough to find that rhythm. I think it was nice to be able to find it in the third today.

Q. When you're playing another Aussie, is it a case of it being more comfortable for you because you know each other well and you know each other's games, or is it harder for you because you're playing a friend? Or is it just another match?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: It's a little bit of both. I think the comfort level is because you know each other so well, but I think that makes it more uncomfortable. I know how Dash trains. I don't know her practices, how they run.

When we practice together, I know what we do, and she knows my game back to front, as well. It's tough, but I think you have to go out there and just approach each match the same. For me, it was sort of -- you know, when you play another Aussie, you respect each other enough to go hard at each other. And then no matter who wins, you shake hands and hug it out at the net and can still go out for a coffee in the afternoon.

Q. You'll be Australia No. 1 going into the Open. How important is that being the No. 1 player at home?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I don't think it's important, but it's a very nice reward. It's exciting going into my home slam as No. 1. You know, although it is a nice thing, it's not something that I focus on. It's more about me playing matches the right way and doing the right things on and off the court to try and get the results, and to be able to have that No. 1 ranking is a bonus.

Q. People talk sometimes about the pressure and expectation of a home slam. You seem to be the kind of person who would relish that.
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I love it. I really do. There is nothing better than playing at home, playing in front of a home crowd. Regardless whether you're No. 1, No. 10, or 100 in the world, it's the best feeling for an Australian to be playing at the Australian Open.

We are extremely lucky to be a Grand Slam nation, and to be able to start our year at home is really exciting.

Q. Sam Stosur has had that pressure for a long time. Have you learned anything from her and how she's been able to deal with it?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yes and no. I think everyone is going through a different stage in their career, and obviously this is a first for me. Even last year was very much a first throughout the whole year.

I was sort of stepping into new grounds with rankings and stages in tournaments. It's exciting for me to be able to start the year here, regardless of my ranking. We have set up a perfect platform for me to work with this year to try and go deep in tournaments, whether it's in Australia or in Europe or in the States.

Q. What was your mindset a set down?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Just fight (smiling). That's what every player does. You want to try and extend the matches as much as possible. I knew it wasn't quite perfect after the first set, but, you know, if you hang in there long enough, I think sometimes you can get more comfortable on the court, and that was certainly the case for me today.

Q. Craig said to you, at the change of ends, if you're going to miss your serve, miss it long. Is there something better about like going too big than not going hard enough?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I think it's just a mindset for me. Obviously if you miss long, you're giving yourself a chance to go into the box. It's that simple.

If you go into the net, you don't give yourself a chance at all. A good miss for me is long on my serve, but it's different with first and second. There is just a few keys that we use.

For him, it was just a simple reminder to tell me that. Even though I was thinking it myself, it's always nice to hear it from him, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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