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January 13, 2020

Ashleigh Barty

Craig Tyzzer

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From the coaching side of it, last time this year world No. 15 in Sydney, hopes that you might have a pretty decent year. How would you describe what's happened in the last 12 months and why?
CRAIG TYZZER: It was a pretty decent year for us, 2019. Yeah, look, I don't think there's any secret. Ash competed really well throughout the 12 months. I feel like her consistency, her level, there wasn't too many times where her level wasn't consistent.

There were times when she was really tired, but there wasn't too many times throughout the 12 months where there were any injuries that really put her off for a long period of time.

I think to have that sort of consistency throughout 12 months is important to be able to get to No. 1 obviously, but to win as many matches and tournaments that she did throughout the year.

For me, the consistency level was huge, yeah.

Q. Ash, you always get a lot of support here, but what has it been like this time playing in Brisbane as a world No. 1? How were you received? I'm sure it was nuts there.
ASHLEIGH BARTY: It was phenomenal. Yeah, it was phenomenal to play at home again. Obviously it's my backyard, where the Brisbane International is played. I train there day in, day out. Kind of nice to play in a full stadium with so many fans there, so many kids in particular.

It's a perfect way to start for the year for us Aussies, is to have the first month at home. Yeah, looking forward now to getting stuck in here in Adelaide.

Q. Ash, how have you found Adelaide so far? What do you want to get out of this tournament in the leadup to the Oz Open?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: For the 12 or so hours we've been here, it's been pretty good. Had a practice session this morning. It's nice to be here. Obviously all the changes that have come to Memorial Drive have been incredible. Poked my head out and saw the center court this morning, it was unbelievable. Itching to get out there and can't wait to start.

Q. Tyz, as you look back over the last 12 months, if you had to pinpoint one really important or pertinent bit of information that you gave Ash that was a major help, what would you say that would be?
CRAIG TYZZER: It's probably a bit of a culmination of all of it. The turning point for me for the year was really the semifinal at the French, when she probably doubted herself completely, went up early against Amanda, then lost her way, almost convinced herself she couldn't win it.

To actually just stand up and go, No, I can do that, that was probably the biggest step for me forward in 18 months that we've been working on stuff, so... For me, that led to her winning a Grand Slam. It led to her becoming world No. 1. Without that semi, all of that probably doesn't happen. We're probably back where we were, working on those things.

So for me, I think that's probably the biggest. It wasn't just what was said, it was just her working through all of that sort of stuff, then realizing that she can control that sort of stuff.

Q. Ash, how many matches do you think you need this week to get ready for Melbourne? When can we expect to see you on the singles court here?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: You can expect to see me whenever I'm scheduled to play, I think. What, second rounds start from tomorrow onwards. So either tomorrow or Wednesday I'll be ready to go.

Look, every match here is a bonus. I feel like I've trained, done all the preparation well to put myself in a position to try and play my best tennis. That's all I can ask of myself.

Regardless of whether it's one match or if it's three or four or five matches here, I think we'll be ready come next week when we have to deal with that.

At the moment, this tournament, kind of my first match here, that's all that's in my mind.

Q. As intense as it is getting ready for Melbourne, is it the match practice, rest, one thing that stands out that you really need?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think you need a bit of everything. I think you need a well-balanced preparation. I feel like we've got that. We know what we need to do leading up to a Grand Slam.

Obviously it's unique being in Australia and bringing it home. It's the most exciting part, that I get to play in front of my friends and family, so many fans. I think we're looking forward to getting out there and kind of starting it all. First and foremost, getting stuck in here, playing Adelaide.

Q. Ash, considering what Tyz was just saying about that semifinal, you lost your way in the second set, does that still happen on occasions? If it does, what do you actually say to yourself in the middle of a match when things are not going your way?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh, it's just important to hang in there. You never know in sport. There are no certainties in sport. I think that's the best part about it. I think that's what makes it the most fun for me, is that anything can happen. You just have to be willing to prepare, put yourself out there, try your best, keep fighting.

I think that's something I like to pride myself on. I like to know that I can kind of go back into my fighting qualities and kind of rely on those at times if the ball striking isn't there.

All in all, it's just about staying in every match, staying present as much as possible.

Q. How have you pulled up after that epic doubles final? Do you find the doubles really keeps you sharp, has been great practice?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I mean, I'm feeling pretty good after that doubles match. It was a good quality match. Obviously it's nice to come here now to Adelaide and get used to the conditions here. They differ a little bit from Brisbane. Obviously the humidity in Brisbane makes a massive difference in how the ball plays, how the courts play.

It will be nice to get out here, as well, where it's a little bit different, kind of adjust to these conditions, focus on this week before worrying about the Australian Open.

Q. Ash, Roger Federer was in Melbourne today, was asked about you and your achievements, how he handled being world No. 1. He actually said it can actually relax you because you can unlock your potential. What is your mindset about carrying that ranking through the year?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, Roger has done a pretty good job of it, hasn't he, over an extended period. He's the best of the best, and has been in that position for a long time.

I don't think necessarily he changes whether it's 1, 2, 3 or 10 next to his name. It doesn't really matter. I think for me and for my team, we're trying to take that same approach.

Having a number next to your name doesn't guarantee anything. It doesn't guarantee wins. You still have to go out there, do the work, put all those kind of runs on the board I suppose and work from there. All can you do is try and do your best every single match.

That's how I'm going to approach this week here in Adelaide. That's how I'm going to approach the Australian Open. That's how I'm going to try to approach the rest of my career, regardless of what number is next to my name.

Q. What is your approach to being No. 1? Is being No. 1 a matter of been there, done that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Absolutely not. I'm not really sure how you want me to answer that. For me, I just said it's not really going to change the way, regardless of what number is next to my name. Whether it's 1, 2, 10, 20, 50, it's not going to make me any more or less hungry to try to be the best that I can be. That's what we're striving for every single day, is to try to improve every single day and try to bring the best out of myself.

I have an exceptional team of people around me that help me to do that. I think that's all we worry about. There certainly won't be any stresses with whatever number is there.

Q. Ash, you come into the year world No. 1. There's been a lot of commentary about being able to sort of free yourself up in terms of having that ranking. What do you come into 2020 looking to improve? Is there a couple of elements of your game that you come into this year looking to improve upon, maybe the base you set in 2019?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: All of my game. I mean, we continue to try and complete my game as much as possible. I want to be the complete tennis player. It's not just the base that we set in 2019. It's the base and the foundation that we've tried to set over the last two or three years.

Like I said, it's not just me out here. It's Tyz, obviously who has been with me right throughout my journey, all my physios, strength and conditioning, my family. Everyone that has been with me has been going along this road, going along this journey. We've enjoyed every minute.

The challenge now is to continue to try to improve as a tennis player. That's all I can really ask of myself. It's going to be small improvements, but improvements nonetheless every single day.

Q. Have you felt more pressure going into an Australian Open? How do you plan on dealing with that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: No more pressure. I mean, we're not there yet. It's not really something I need to worry about this week. I'm here to play in Adelaide this week, try to play the best I can. Once we get to Melbourne, we'll prepare like we do for any other Grand Slam.

I mean, there's no more pressure certainly from my team or from myself. I mean, you guys like to make a story about it. That's all good. Hopefully it's entertaining for you. But it's not really something that I worry about.

Q. So you focus more on the anticipation of the fans rather than the expectations, feeding off them?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I mean, of course, I love playing in front of the Australian public. I'm extremely fortunate to get so much support from all the fans and people all across the globe, but particularly here in Australia. It's amazing the amount of support and love that I get. I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing.

But also in saying that, it doesn't really change the way that I play at all. Obviously it's really exciting, it's really fun to be out there when there's so much energy in the crowd, when it's a full crowd on those beautiful courts at the Australian Open.

We'll worry about this week, then we'll get there next week.

Q. Craig, your general reactions to getting the Coach of the Year award? Good respect from your peers.
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, look, it's a great honor to be voted on by the other coaches. It's a big honor. I guess it means that I've done my job correctly. They've obviously recognized it.

There's a really good bunch of guys out there who are coaching, and girls, on the WTA Tour now that we all have lots in common because we all deal with the same issues, same problems. It's nice to be recognized by them for having a great year.

But it's really my job to get out there and make sure Ash is doing what she does properly. If she has a good year, probably means I have a good year. So, you know, I'm not in this for the awards, but it's really nice to be recognized, yeah.

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