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February 17, 2021

Ashleigh Barty

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


1-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great start today, but Karolina played strongly in the second two sets.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, tough one today, without a doubt. I would have loved to have done a little bit better. Yeah, not my day today. We'll go back to work and keep trying to grow for tomorrow.

Q. How do you reflect on the medical timeout?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I would have liked to have just been a little bit sharper the next game. Started well with the first point, just made a couple loose errors in that game. I think for the rest of the set, that was the story, it was just over and over-made. Probably pressed a little bit trying to be overly aggressive.

Had some breakpoints, I think it was that 3-All, that was probably a bit of a critical game in the momentum there for the second set.

Just disappointed with the fact that I wasn't able to bring the match back on my terms after she took that break.

Q. It clearly changed the momentum of the game from our perspective. Are you comfortable with her taking a medical timeout for her injury, she said her head was spinning?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I didn't hear what she said when she called for the trainer. That's not my decision. When you call for the trainer, you obviously tell the umpire what the reason is. And then the doctor and physios come out and assess it. That's within the rules. For me, that's not really my decision and not my concern what she took the medical for.

Obviously there are rules when we go off the court for whatever areas you're getting treated because that's quite normal. But, yeah, that's not really my decision to make on whether or what her medical condition was or what the timeout was for.

Q. (Off microphone.)

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I mean, I think when you look down the other end, you could see she was taking her time quite often. It was probably the first warmer day we've had here for a while.

I tried not to focus on her too much. It's about going about it the right way for me, the way that I wanted to play the match. I felt like I lost my way a little bit there in the second set, midway through, kind of lost that momentum that I built.

Yeah, we go back to work, we learn from this today. Without a doubt it's disappointing. We learn, we move on, we don't let it ruin what has been a really successful, enjoyable start to a new season.

Q. You looked frustrated in the third set. Was it frustration not being able to get the match back on your terms, was it a frustration with unforced errors?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, a bit of both. Without a doubt, being frustrated in not being able to put the game on my terms, but then pressing a little bit too hard, making too many errors at critical times.

I felt like I had small windows of opportunity probably midway through the second set and wasn't able to kind of regroup enough to be clear in the third set how I wanted to play. I think I just lost my way a little bit, which is disappointing without a doubt.

I felt like I was in control of the match. I knew how I wanted to go about it, just lost my way a bit.

Q. Afterwards Karolina said her head was spinning and she lost her way. Regardless of what she told the umpire, does that frustrate you, she took that timeout because her head was spinning and she lost her way?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: It's within the rules. She's within her rights to take that time. If she wasn't within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so. That's the laws of our game, is that we have those medical timeouts for cases that are needed. Obviously she needed that today. Completely within the rules for her to take that.

From my point of view, I've played a lot of matches where there have been medical timeouts. I've taken medical timeouts myself before, so that shouldn't be a massive turning point in the match. I was disappointed that I let that become a turning point. I'm experienced enough now to be able to deal with that.

It's a disappointment today without a doubt. But we learn and we move on.

Q. Should it be in the rules, you're saying it is, but should it be in the rules, should a player be able to go off the court if they don't actually have an injury?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I don't write the rules. I don't write the rules. I abide by them. All of us players, we abide by the rules that are written.

It's not my place to comment here whether she had an injury or not. That's the physios and the doctors. Obviously that she's taken her medical timeout meant that there was something wrong. She was within the rules, within the guidelines to take that time.

Q. What do you think you'll learn from today, what in particular?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh, we go through everything. We learn through all of the experiences that we've had over the past two or three weeks. We just look back on it, we learn. We go through the match. We go through how I felt. We go through the rides of momentum.

Overall we take the positives that have come out of this last two or three weeks. Being back on the tour has been fantastic. I've loved every second, even though at times it is frustrating. That's the name of the game. That's the sport that we play.

I think we celebrate as a team the way that we've been able to come back into the sport and really play well.

Q. What is your plan now?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: We've planned and we've entered to play a few of the tour events coming up in the Middle East. Right from the get-go, obviously it's the first time we've looked to travel for quite some time now. We'll sit back and kind of go through all of the health risks that are at this stage and to where we're going, then we just work from there.

Q. Where does this loss sit for you?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's heartbreaking, of course. But will it deter me, will it ruin the fact we've had a really successful start to our season? Absolutely not.

The sun will come up tomorrow. We go about our work again. You're either winning or your learning. I think today is a massive learning curve for me, for Tyz, my team as well. We take the positives out of it, without doubt and don't let this particular match, this particular hour of tennis deter us from what we're trying to do.

Q. You didn't travel for health reasons last year. How nervous are you about getting back out there given how well Australia is still doing with the virus?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's a tricky one because I think the health of my team and myself will always be the priority, no matter what. In a way, there is no nervousness because I feel like we'll make the right decisions that are kind of the best for us. We'll make the right decisions for the right reasons. That kind of takes away any of the nerves or concerns knowing that we can put full trust in, if we travel, when we travel, but the right health guidelines we put in place.

Q. Once the second and third set started to roll along, what was it that you found difficult to get things back on your terms? Tactical, footwork, acceleration?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I felt like I lost control of the ball a little bit. At times I was overplaying, missing quite a few long and wide. Then at times tried to rein it in a little bit too much and overcompensated. I think there was a little bit of a battle of trying to figure out a way to bring my range back in, try not to press too much often.

I felt like I lost my way with overplaying, overpressing, not letting myself work into the points and really construct points as well as I'd like to.

Q. You're obviously familiar with playing on these courts at any given time of day. Was there any change in terms of what the ball was doing? You have played quite a few night sessions.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's different. I think this is one of the tournaments probably across the world, here and maybe Paris at the French Open, that the weather can really determine how the balls play, how the conditions are. It was an adjustment.

But I've played plenty of day sessions here at the Australian Open. I've practiced during the day. So it was an adjustment, of course, but certainly no reason for the result by any means. I'm comfortable playing in the daytime, I'm comfortable playing at night. I love playing in Australia, I love playing on these courts.

It's disappointing today without a doubt, but we move on pretty quick.

Q. It seemed like there were times in the second and third set your focus or concentration wasn't quite where you wanted it to be. Did you sense that? Was something distracting you? Is that down to not having played a ton of matches in the last 12 months?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I felt like there are obviously ebbs and flows during the match. That's quite natural, particularly coming off such an extended break.

Again, that's no reason as to the result. It's more of me trying to bring it back on my terms as often as I can. At times today I had the right balls, I just overplayed, I pressed a little bit too much, gave up too many cheap errors at some pretty critical times.

We look back on it. We talk about how we want to try to change things. Obviously we can't now. That's the learning of this game, is that it doesn't always go your way, it's not always your day, it's how you respond from those tough moments and how you get up the next day and go back to work.

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