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February 15, 2021

Ashleigh Barty

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

A. BARTY/S. Rogers

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A very solid performance today. Just talk us through the match from your perspective.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, always a tough one, knowing the ability that Shelby has to take a match away from you very quickly. It was important for me to serve well and try and bring it on my terms as often as possible.

Q. What did you learn from last week that you were able to play today, or two weeks ago?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I think I have to take my learnings from the previous times we've played, absolutely. I knew it was going to be vital to serve well tonight. That was something I really wanted to try and focus on, just to try and give myself a chance to be in control of more points.

There was a couple of runs of points, runs of games in our match last week that Shelby was able to get on a roll and run away with it a little bit. I wanted to try and avoid that and just bring it back on my terms as much as I could and try and be the aggressor when I could, as well.

Q. You indicated on court that to get to the quarters was like a dream result. Is that how you're feeling at the moment?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh, we're not done yet. Obviously it's exciting to be in another quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, particularly here in Australia.

And just, I mean, if we had looked at the way we were preparing during our preseason to have the start that we have had so far is really encouraging, but certainly not satisfied with where we're at at the moment. We will keep chipping away and keep trying to do the right things to progress as far as we can.

Q. If you can remember back to this time last year and the quarterfinal stage, how would you compare yourself in the two situations?


Q. How you're feeling now compared to this stage of the tournament last year.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Okay. Oh, very different. I think it's different circumstance obviously. It's a unique feel this particular Grand Slam, and just a different situation.

I think I have learnt a lot about myself over the past 12 months. The world is in a bit of a different place to what it's ever been before.

So I think I'm just extremely grateful that I've got another opportunity to do something that I love out on one of the most beautiful courts in the world, on the biggest stage for us as Aussies playing tennis, which is really cool.

Q. Everyone is talking about your 12 months off. Are you surprised at yourself at times, the way you're playing, given that long break?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think I know that I've done the work. I know that we prepared in the right way during the preseason. We've done all the work to try to give myself the opportunity to play a good level of tennis and to a level that I know I'm capable of.

It's just knowing that I put the trust in the work that we've done, more than surprising myself. I think I've known that I've done the work. I have the ability to play at this level and then it's just about going about all of our processes, our routines the right way. All of those came back quite naturally.

It's something that I've practiced a lot, and I gain my confidence from that practice and from those preseasons as opposed to just match results.

Q. Another question regarding last year, not playing for, like, almost a year. Do you think that your experience of when you're 18 and 19, you were staying away from tennis for like one-and-a-half years, do you think that kind of experience helped you to manage to come back from that long period of not playing the tour?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, it's all part of my journey. It's all part of my life, my story, I suppose. Without a doubt, I have -- obviously used to in a way coming off a break and not playing. The break itself is not a problem for me. It's not a concern.

I know if I do all the right things in preparation before starting again, that's what I aim to get right. That's what I do with my team. We try and dot all of our Is and cross our Ts, do all the right things to get to a point where we know that we're comfortable going out on the court and try and execute.

I think it's more the preparation that we do leading up to the tournament than the break itself.

Q. Couple of years since you played your next rival back in New York. What can you remember of that occasion? What do you know about her? You might have played in juniors because she's about the same age as well.

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I remember that match in New York, I remember coming off the court and saying to Tyz, I'm like, Karolina, she can play, she's a hell of a player. At that time she was I think outside, maybe even 200 in the world.

I'm not sure if she had injury layoffs but I hadn't had much to do with her beforehand. Certainly that match in New York, it was a great match, a brilliant match.

I remember we moved courts, we were playing at all hours of the night. One of those funny experiences where you look back on it now and just realize how special it was.

I know that now we get another opportunity to do it in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam. It will be a brilliant match. I know she's got the ability to maneuver the ball all around the court, play with variety, play with shape.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to.

Q. You mentioned going into today's game that you were focusing on your serve. Is there anything you're going to focus on going into your next game?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: I think obviously we will sit down and try and work out a game plan and how we want to try and execute the match as best we can. From there we try and work on a couple of specifics we might want to do, whether it's with Tyz, my coach, with my trainer, with whoever it is, whatever it is we need to do to try and figure out a way how we're going to try and win that tennis match, and then we just go to work and try and execute.

Q. It's been pretty cool weather for the first week or so. It's going to start heating up the next couple of days. That's got to be an advantage to you, doesn't it?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Oh, the weather is not something I can control (smiling). That's not something that I focus on. Obviously I'm just trying to come out and do the best that I can in any conditions.

But, I mean, it has been a quite a mild start, what's felt like the start of a summer. Obviously we're a little bit later in the year than usual, but I'll enjoy a little bit more sunshine, a little bit more heat, that's for sure.

Q. Olivia Gadecki got a big win the other day over Kenin, and she credited some of the work she did with you in the preseason. Just want to get your thoughts on her, what a big win it was. What do you know about her?

ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, I'm incredibly proud of Liv. She's done so much work over the last few months. I invited her to do a preseason with us knowing she's a brilliant girl first and foremost and then a hell of a ball striker after that.

We had a really good two or three months of training together. She worked her backside off. She pushed me. She pushed me a lot, not just on the court but off the court, as well, in the gym, when we are doing our off-court training. I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed spending time with her.

I've got a lot of respect for her, and I just told her that I'm always only ever a phone call away. Any experiences she's gone through, obviously she stepped away from the game a little bit, not at a dissimilar age than I did. So I think talking about that experience as well from my point of view and just sharing my story was really nice. But I just have a lot of time for her as a human being. She's a great girl.

I'm just so proud of the way she went out there yesterday and played, did it with a smile on her face, and now she's got an opportunity to continue playing in a tour event.

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