Barty’s absolute belief in process
Perfect preparation and steely resolve keeps Ash on track
IMMUNE to the rancour of Australian men’s tennis, Ash Barty will not deviate from her process as she chases a maiden grand slam quarter-final against Maria Sharapova tomorrow.
Fending off injury concerns despite a mid-match medical time-out, Barty is determined nothing – especially politics – outside of her control will have any influence.
Nor the offensively loud Sharapova, whose screeching is louder than ever.
“I feel great,” Barty said after advancing to her first Melbourne Park fourth round.
“You have to keep giving yourself the opportunity to do better and better. You have to keep chipping away.
“It’s all trusting in the process and the work that my team and myself have done in the pre-season, and throughout the last 18 months, two years.
“We’re continuing to chip away every single day and get better as a person and as a player every single day and continue to develop my game.
“It’s getting to the point now where I’m feeling more and more comfortable on the court and can play my brand of tennis, which when I execute I know it works against the best in the world.”
With five majors to her credit, Sharapova is among the elite – a group many in tennis, not only Australians, believe Barty will eventually be part of.
“Yeah, it’s another opportunity for me to go out and test myself against the world’s best,” Barty said after eliminating Greek Maria Sakkari.
Asked to assess her tournament preparation, she said: “I think more than anything it’s just the perfect preparation.
“There is nothing else can get you ready for matches than matches.
“So it was a perfect preparation through Perth and Sydney, and now I come here feeling great.
“I feel like I have the matches and tennis under my belt and now it’s about going out and executing on the day against my opponent.”
Sharapova beat Barty in a tight three-setter in Rome last year.
Barty is confident a mystery injury – either hip flexor or abdominal strain – will not derail her .
The 15th seed was reluctant to detail the extent of the injury, or even identify it, after a medical time-out in a measured third-round triumph.
“No, all good, nothing to be concerned about,” Barty said when asked about the medical time-out. “Just making sure I’m in the best possible shape to play and going out there and do my best.
“I think I have just gotten to know my body well enough now to know when I need a little bit of help.
“It was more just for a bit of reassurance and support.