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January 10, 2019

Ashleigh Barty

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. BARTY/E. Mertens

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How pleased are you to be able to back this up from yesterday's performance?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it was important, but I think it wasn't the end of the world, to be honest. I knew I had to come out and play a solid match today.

Elise has had an amazing year. I knew it was going to be very tough and I was going to have to hit a lot of balls. I'm really happy with the way I was able to get in and out of games today.

Q. Particularly the second set, you seemed frustrated. You weren't able to convert some of your break points. How happy were you to be able to complete the task after that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I have to give myself a chance in games. It was important to try and get ahead in games today. Elise is a great front-runner. I knew I had to try and take control of those first two or three points in games to give myself a chance. One sloppy game from me on serve in the second set was probably the only blemish.

Q. Were you happy enough with the week as it is if you were to bow out, or are you quite determined to wind this thing up like last year?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, obviously extremely determined. I had a taste of what it was like last year and I'm very keen to keep going as best that I can.

I know I'm playing good tennis. I'm well-prepared. Now it's about going out there and executing and trying to finish this week off strongly before worrying about next week.

Q. I think you're the 15th seed for the Australian Open. Can you talk about that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I'll worry about that come Sunday or Monday, whenever we're finished here, whenever I have to play. I'm trying to focus on this week and worrying about my next match here rather than what happens for the Australian Open.

Q. You have played in differing conditions over the last few days. How pleasing is it to get the results against top players?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's a tournament you always have to look at the weather for the next day to kind of prepare mentally and get yourself ready, because conditions can change dramatically.

When the sun's out, it's very lively. When it's not, it can be quite dead and heavy when it's more humid. It's something you have to be aware of, but it's not something that fazes me. You can play in different conditions across the world, across the whole year.

Here it's just a little bit more condensed from day to day. Certainly happy with how I was able to hit the ball today. It was a little bit more humid and a little bit more heavy in center court, and it wasn't as swirly, so it was a little bit more pleasant to play.

Q. Your opponent tomorrow, will you go and watch what they're doing now? Or what will you do now?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: No. No, I won't bother watching that one. They can sort it out, and I will have a look at the end and just worry about who I have to play.

I think they are playing at the moment, so by the time that I'm finished everything I need to do, I'm sure they'll be off the court and starting their recovery, as well. So we will worry about that tonight and start looking towards what we want to do tomorrow.

Q. Things that you have worked on in the preseason, is it all coming together quite nicely for you?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I feel like it is. I feel like I have played what, now, six really good singles matches. I feel like there haven't been too many times where I have felt uncomfortable on the court. I've felt like I've been in control of most of them, which is really pleasing, and I think putting myself in the position towards the business end of the tournament, which is what you want to do.

Q. How different are you from the Ashleigh that was in the final here last year?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh, I'm the same Ash Barty. I may be a slightly different player, a little bit more developed player, I think, but I'm the same girl and I have the same attitude. Look, I'm just out here enjoying my tennis.

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