February 16, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Third straight quarterfinal for you and Ash together here. You must be quite happy with the form she's shown this week and the last couple weeks.
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, I guess it's a bit of an unknown for missing so much tennis, not playing matches for a while, to sort of come back and keep getting better and keep progressing.
Yeah, obviously played well last week in the tournament, then has continued that form on. Yeah, we're still going here in this one, so that's great.
Q. She played four in the lead-up, is this as ideal a state of play as you get?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, look, she's been playing well each match. There's probably been a few dips and a few rises, so there's a bit of that flow as well.
I think it's ideal that she's still alive and still playing, still able to keep progressing in the AO. It's obviously great for us and for her. Yeah, look, she's put it together really well, probably better than I expected. But just happy with where she's at at the moment.
Q. What impresses you most about her game?
CRAIG TYZZER: I think the fact that she's just been able to compete non-stop, like she's actually put herself in situations and just competed point by point. I don't feel like she got ahead of herself - maybe once. But she's just been able to nail that side of it where she's just competed point by point every match, played it on its merits, and it's worked for her.
I mean, the fact that she's been giving everything, she's been able to get across the line, is really pleasing. If she gave everything and lost, it would still be okay. We've got some work to do. She's actually still going in this tournament, so we still got work to do. We're going each match, working on the next opponent, which is the stuff we like to do.
For Ash, this is probably ideal preparation, even for just the rest of the year.
Q. During the period of the lockdown, I heard you were not allowed to see Ash because of the restriction. During that time, what kind of advice did you give her and how did you communicate each other?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, she stayed in touch with her tennis. It was an ideal opportunity to take a break after a long year in 2019, early 2020. So she probably only hit three to four times a week.
In the end, once we thought we were getting closer to playing, I was able to actually watch her sessions from Melbourne through the camera setup they have in Brisbane. I could hear what was going on and everything, but I just had to ring her on the phone if there was anything I wanted her to do, work on anything, I could contact her during those sessions and say, Work on this, try this.
We started then, but then we had an early pre-season. We started in October. It's gone for a while, it's probably the longest pre-season we've ever had.
Q. Do you think it makes a difference at all without the crowd?
CRAIG TYZZER: I don't think so with Ash. Like, I know from last year when she won, she loved the crowd in Adelaide last year when she won. It's a nice venue, really close, really loud. I think she enjoys the Aussie crowd behind her. She's also good at going, Okay, I have to focus on what's going on on the court. It doesn't distract her. I think she's done that really well here. We played with crowds the first week, a bit here during AO, and she's been able to focus on what's going on with the matches.
Q. What does the rest of the year look like? Are you going on the road and not coming back until Christmas or...
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, that may be the case. We're planning on going to the Middle East. We've entered Doha, Dubai and Miami. We'll head off to those tournaments.
Because of the quarantine arrangements here, we won't come back for a while. We'll be away for a while if we go.
Q. Straight from Miami to Europe?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, pretty much. We're hoping that we'll set up some sort of base somewhere probably in Europe where we can at least switch off and relax and spend some time away from tennis, maybe a bit of golf for Ash.
We're yet to finalize anything in that regard. But yeah, we're planning on being away for a while.
Q. On last night, it seemed to us she went up a level. Is that how you saw it?
CRAIG TYZZER: I felt it was better than when she played Shelby last week. I also felt Shelby's level was a bit better. Especially when Ash got on top of her, I felt Shelby went up a little bit more, hit bigger off the ground. Ash had to match that.
Yeah, it was a pretty good level. I thought Ash moved exceptionally well and was able to then move Shelby around a bit more.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with Ash, how it's evolved since you started working together?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, look, I actually find it quite easy with Ash. She's easy to coach. She works on the things we discuss. There's never it's just me telling her what to do. Ash has such a good tennis IQ, it's working things through, working out ways to get around.
Yeah, I feel like it's a really good coach/player relationship. We enjoy our whole group, the way we go about it. We don't want to make it a chore. We actually want to enjoy what we do. We really do enjoy what we're doing.
Yeah, I feel like it works pretty well.
Q. Are you at all surprised with how things have worked out over the last couple of weeks? Is it a case of expect the unexpected?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, look, like I said probably pretournament, I would have been happy with a couple of matches the first week, hopefully get going during the AO. It's probably better than I thought in that sense because it was really, like, nine months without matches. You just don't know.
Thinking a lot of players are in the same boat. A lot of players haven't played much tennis, some have played some. I guess it's a bit unknown for everyone.
But to be where we're at is fantastic, to keep playing in a Grand Slam, it's always difficult to win matches. You've got to be there on the day, win seven matches to get there. She knows how tough it is to do. She's done it once before.
She's preparing the best she can. She's getting ready every day, doing all the right things. The best part is when she's going out, she's really competing really well.
I just hope that keeps going. I know if she goes out and does her best, her best is often good enough.
Q. You said the pre-season began back in October, which is early for tennis. How did you take advantage of that extra long off-season?
CRAIG TYZZER: Yeah, it was a lot slower. We built up a lot. Did a lot of strength and conditioning early, just focused on a few areas with regard to her tennis, but slowly built that up.
Got going sort of mid November, then December we played, got toward a lot of match play, tried to instill a lot of points situation, a lot of competition with a lot of the other players up in Brisbane.
Yeah, it was very different because we normally don't have that much time at all.
Q. (Question about the players in Brisbane.)
CRAIG TYZZER: A lot of the girls in Brisbane, hit a lot with Olivia Gedecki. She had a good tournament here this week. She strikes the ball like some of the top girls, flat and hard. She was perfect to hit and train with.
All the other girls up in Brisbane, Lizette Cabrera, Maddie Ingles, Kim Burrell, quite a few of the boys as well.
Q. The schedule this year, is the Olympics on it if it happens?
CRAIG TYZZER: Sorry?
Q. The Olympics?
CRAIG TYZZER: The Olympics? Yeah, she's down to play. She's pretty keen to play. Yeah, we're hoping for her that goes ahead. She's very excited. She was disappointed last year that she didn't get to play. Hopefully it will happen this year. We're still getting information that it is still on.
Yeah, she's keen to play, and obviously we'll go.
Q. What are your recollections of the Muchova match at the US Open and how do you think they match up tomorrow?
CRAIG TYZZER: I actually watched her play Muguruza the match before in the US Open, and I was super impressed. The girl, I think she was ranked 200 then. She qualified, then beat Garbine in I think it was a first-round match. I couldn't believe how good an athlete this girl was. Like a year older than Ash. Where has she been? I realized then she had a lot of injuries.
She's super talented, like she's a great athlete, she's got all the shots, attacking player, likes to come forward. I actually like the way she plays tennis.
I know Ash is looking forward to it. She enjoyed that match, too. It was a really high-quality tennis match. It was on an outside court with hardly anyone, about five people watched it. Same numbers, but just a different court (laughter).
She's looking forward to playing against her. It's a great test because she is such a quality player, obviously improved out of sight from back then to where she is now. I think it will be a great contest.
Q. How has this side of the draw shaped up with Pegula and Brady waiting as potential semifinal opponents?
CRAIG TYZZER: Look, I haven't really looked at the draw at all. I basically find out who she plays after she finishes. People usually tell me who's coming up. I haven't looked.
I mean, obviously if they're in the other quarter, they're obviously playing great tennis to get where they are. Regardless of who you're playing, it's not going to be an easy match at all.
But the other thing, Ash has obviously got to get past tomorrow's match to play anyone else. That's all we're looking forward to. It's all we're focused on. I won't do any work until and if Ash gets through tomorrow's match.
Q. The string change that she had during the last few months, can you shed a little bit more light on that in terms of what the mindset was going in, what the challenges were, and when did you start to see she settled in?
CRAIG TYZZER: We actually tried it once before, and I think it might have been 2018. It was a short pre-season, tried gut. She couldn't hit a ball in the court. She actually said, Never again.
It was actually Ben Mathias who was hitting with Ash during last year on the clay, suggested it would be a good time to try it because it was going to be such a long break. It was sort of a slow process. In fact, she wasn't playing a lot. It was a good time to introduce it.
A couple of reasons that we discussed were it's a bit softer on her arm, so it's actually better for her. But it also gives her a little bit more power. It's just difficult to get used to.
The idea behind it was to try and, one, soften the impact on her arm, then also to give her a little bit more power. It did take a while. It wasn't an immediate like it, but she likes it a bit more now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports