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June 23, 2019

Ashleigh Barty

Birmingham, England


6-3, 7-5

Q. Congratulations on both. Just some thoughts about that second set because it looked like Julia was on her way back?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I mean Jules is an incredible competitor and she is never going to hand a match over lightly and she is always going to come up with her best stuff when her back is against the wall. So it was important for me to try and stay in touch and getting that break back early in the set was really important to not kind of give her a sniff of winning a set on her serve.

Q. And obviously the second Australian to reach the No. 1 since Evonne Goolagong Cawley. What in particular does that mean to you?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh it's just been the most amazing journey for myself and my team and we've got to this point by doing all the small things right and I think we will continue to try and do that. But it's certainly just been the most amazing month of tennis for us and really an amazing three years.

Q. Can you cast your mind back to 2016 and did you have a plan like this, or has it just gone beyond your expectations?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: (Smiling) We had a very vague plan to try and get back in obviously to the rhythm of it and to playing again. But certainly not for it to happen this quickly. It is always a goal to try and be the best. It's ultimately why we train, why we compete and play, but for it to happen in this way has been amazing. It's a testament to all of my team who have put so much time and invested so much passion and energy into my career and try and make me the best that I can be.

Q. What was the difference in terms of the feelings in clinching match-point in winning the French Open compared today clinching match-point and rising to world No. 1? How different did they feel and maybe can you say was one better than the other?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Very different feelings. I think very unique feelings, both of them. But really hard to put into words, I think. Particularly at the French, it was just, it felt like a whirlwind. And this week felt more like a regular week if there's such a thing just to try and go about things the right way and be really process-based.

But, yeah, I mean, it's just hard to put into words what we have been able to achieve over the last few years and to be where we are now is just incredible.

Q. I think the crucial point for me, 5-5 and then you called that challenge. It is probably the closest Hawk-Eye decision I have seen in my life, and even on the screen you couldn't see a gap so have you ever known a closer one that than and did you actually think at the time that was out or was it more speculative?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think, I mean... I saw there was no chalk so I thought why not. There's probably no better opportunity to challenge it and off the racquet I thought it was good, but then once it landed I thought may be there is a chance, so when you have got the Hawk-Eye system some will go with you and some will go against you so I thought why not.

Q. After you won your last major, you were getting loads of people tweeting you like Russell Crowe, have you had any messages from anyone we might know?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I haven't looked at my phone the last half an hour so we will wait and see.

Q. Has it sunk in yet that you are, or what is it like to be the same status now as your friend and mentor, Evonne Goolagong? Has that sunk in for you?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think I'm nowhere near her status. To be mentioned in the same sentence is incredible. Evonne, she's an amazing human being and has set the tone for so many Australians and so many indigenous Australians around our country and around the world, she is an amazing person. And what she has done in her career was incredible and what she continues to do off the court for us as a sport is amazing.

But to have her as a friend is amazing and I'm sure that I will be able to chat to her in the next few days and yes, just I mean chatted through all of it.

Q. What does this change for you this new ranking?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: (Laughing) Nothing. Nothing at all. It's an amazing place to be in but certainly nothing changes.

Q. Did it affect the pressure you felt today that you were playing against a friend? Did you find that a good thing? Did that make it a more pressurised for you?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I don't think necessarily it is extra pressure. It is just a different and unique situation. Obviously Jules and I are very close and it is tough whenever you are playing a friend, but I know that I respect her and she respects me enough to be put that aside while we are on the court.

But then as soon as we shake hands, no matter who has won or lost the match, the relationship doesn't change and it's a testament to Jules as a character, she is an incredible person, someone I highly respect and love to spend time with. And yeah, I couldn't think of a better person to be able to share the court with today.

Q. When you are facing set-point like you did and everyone wants to hit an ace or a winner, but you did and they talk about the champion qualities that you are able to summon your best tennis when you need it. That is a bit of a play we have started to associate with Serena, an ace bails you out, so when you are in that moment, what is your self-talk, are you like "I need an ace", are you confident you are going to get it, what are you talking through in your head when you are facing a point like that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think I have to trust myself and trust that I can execute on those big points, and not just when I'm set-point down but also on those crucial 30-All, 15-30 points. But at the end of the day, there's no point that means anything more than the next one, they all have the same value, so it is about trying to execute as best as I can on that point and if it's at 15-Love, or set-point down, it doesn't change for me.

Q. Obviously, we know this week, you and Julia have been close, but you mentioned on court when you were "a little tucker running around" -- you have known her since you started on the tour?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, Jules has always made time for me ever since I started on tour and I think that relationship developed a bit through Casey. She introduced me to a lot of the really good girls on tour and that relationship's grown, but Jules and her whole team have always made time for me, we have always enjoyed practicing together and spending time with each other and as I said it's hard playing a friend but in a final I think you'd love to play a friend knowing you have both earnt that spot.

Q. Is Eastbourne still the plan for next, this week?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, we will head down there tonight.

Q. Can you remember it playing some part in your comeback? It was the first...
ASHLEIGH BARTY: It was my first single tournaments back when a few weeks earlier in the calendar, when it was 50000 and played in qualis through there, so Eastbourne has a very special place in my heart.

Q. Congratulations on being world No. 1. Well done. I'm wondering -- I'm from a certain generation who can remember when Australia ruled the world. I can remember Rod Laver holding the Grand Slam in 1969. What is it that's gone wrong with Australian tennis? Once Australia ruled the world, but it seems to have lost its way a bit. Club membership seems to have gone down by a third and I think it's about time an Australian won the Australian Open. The last Australian winner...
THE MODERATOR: We are under time pressure...

Q. Do you think this performance could help inspire people in Australia to start playing tennis again?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think there are plenty of people playing tennis, I don't think there is not an issue. It's been a nice journey for myself and my team. We've done the work and tried our best to put ourselves in the right position and we will continue to do so.

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