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February 3, 2021

Ashleigh Barty

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

A. BARTY/M. Bouzkova

6-0, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must feel pretty good to get a three-set win over a top opponent.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's always nice to test the legs and get into those tougher matches obviously. There were ebbs and flows of momentum but happy to come away with it in the third and change things a little bit to come back my way.

Q. Did you think the first set maybe was tighter than the score line indicated and then it really got tight?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of those games in the first set were deuce games, game points either way so it certainly didn't feel like a 6-Love set by any means. You know what you're going to get and you know that you're going to have to produce your best tennis over a long period of time, so I think that was the challenge today to make sure that I didn't just bundle up like a bag of spuds and lose what was happening. I just needed to stick fat and continue doing the right things for us.

Q. How was the process -- I think last night you were still on site at probably half past eight or so and you were back on the court this morning. Back to a familiar routine or is that more cramped than what you would be used to?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: It was a bit strange coming off a night match last night. I'm typically an early riser so I think getting to bed late was unusual and still up just after 6:00 this morning not having a lot of sleep. So the day matches have -- obviously that's when I train throughout preseason -- so that's a bit more normal now. We play a few nights as well but we prepare in the same way probably the last hour, two hours before the match, regardless of what time it is and that kind of is a process that we've learned over time kind of clicks my body and mind into check to get out there and compete.

Q. Do you think this was due to rust or do you think it might foreshadow a more unpredictable Australian Open?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: No, I think the depth in womens' tennis is exceptionally strong and I think when you see it spread across three draws there is certainly no easy matches. I think everyone is in a little bit of the same boat in the sense it's a start of a new season, not many matches under our belts, but I think that can bring out the best in you sometimes. I think you have to fight and scrap and find a way to get through those tough matches to get yourself a chance to continue to improve and get another opportunity to play.

That's what we're looking forward to is the fact that we get another opportunity tomorrow to go out there and try and refine a few things and another challenge of playing a quality opponent.

Q. Talk about playing Shelby Rogers, she upset Petra today.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, Shelby has always had the ability. She's got a big game, an exceptional game. I know over time she's struggled with some injuries. She's had her fair share of injuries. But I've played her a couple of times and we've always had very, very good battles. She's a big ball striker, likes the ball on her terms, so I think I'll have to have my running shoes on and try and neutralize as best that I can as often as I can to then turn it back on my terms.

Q. How have you found the courts playing? What's your assessment of how they're playing?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, the courts here have always changed, depended on the weather. That's quite normal. When you get a warmer day, the heat stays in the court a little bit longer and with the balls this year it's quite lively, quite bouncy off the court. But at night can slow down as well. It's more how the balls and the courts react to the weather as opposed to the surface itself. But I think they are playing a little bit quicker this year, and I think just with the amount of play that they've had the last two, three weeks and what they're going to get over the next three weeks is going to quicken them up even more.

Q. I've been asking a couple of the players if they've got into any of the Australian lingo, if they've tried any foods. As an ambassador for vegemite, have you tried promoting or pushing it with any of the players and what's been the reaction?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I do love my vegemite. I think if anyone wants to get some Aussie slang, all they have to do is walk past me really. I actually organized a jar of Bartymite for Jen, so she loved that, so she's a converted vegemite fan, which is always good. Now just got to get her to try it with avocado, as well, on toast and she'll be fine.

Q. The German guys were just in here and they've all tried vegemite and they've all taken to it apparently.


Q. 22 Aussies competing today. Does that make you happy to see everyone doing so well and scoring some wins this week?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I think this week is lock loaded with opportunities for young Aussies and some that have been around the block, as well. But it's awesome to see a lot of Aussies going out there testing themselves against the best in the world and having a few wins and enjoying the Aussie summer. I think it's a massive part of the whole calendar for us. It's a massive part of the calendar for all the young Aussies to aspire to, wanting to be involved in the Australian summer and I think with the AO just around the corner I think everyone is pretty excited and getting ready to go.

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