‘I don’t know how she does it’ – Ash Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer on the weight of expectation, career Grand Slam prospects
Ash Barty’s coach was delighted as he spoke to the world’s media on Saturday evening
If Ash Barty is the happiest woman in Australia at the moment, her long-time coach Craig Tyzzer must be the happiest man. He has been by her side as she rose to the top of the world rankings, and as she has won a Grand Slam on all three surfaces. He told reporters, though, that he had expected her to win a hard court Slam first.
” I actually always felt she’s a better hard court player,” he said in his press conference. “I mean, she loves grass. But Wimbledon is so different in that it’s really slow, like it’s a slow surface, it’s a different grass. So I think a lot of players find that quite difficult where Ash quite enjoys the really low bounce and the slowness there.
“Bu I always thought her first win would be, in a Grand Slam, would be on a hard court. But typical for her she proved me wrong and she won on clay first and then grass and then now hard court.
“It’s amazing that she’s been able to do it. It’s pretty impressive. I think we’ve all got to sit back and just look at what she’s been able to do on different surfaces and just her ability to play the level of tennis that she does. I mean, sometimes I’m just in awe of it.”
Tyzzer did, however, sound a note of caution to those asking whether she was likely to complete a career Grand Slam, considering her excellence on hard courts.
“The US Open really needs to change the ball for the girls, the fact they still use a different ball for guys and girls. It’s a terrible ball for someone like Ash. Even in Cincinnati when they use the US Open ball outside she could actually get some loft out of the court, but the ball itself is so light. It was the only tournament last year and really for two years where she uses a gut racquet but I had to change her to a poly just to get any sort of control of the ball.
“If they keep that ball the same, no one like Ash will win that tournament. So I think you see the result at the US Open, it was two players who, you go, Wow, that was, two different players won that? There’s no surprise when the ball is like it is. And I don’t know the reason why. It’s the only tournament that has separate ball for the guys and girls. So if they don’t change the balls, she won’t win the US Open.”
Tyzzer: I’m thrilled every day to work with Ash
Of course, the 25-year-old did not simply win a Grand Slam on Saturday night – or as simple as that can possibly be. She won at home, fulfilling the hopes of an entire nation after their four-decade wait for an Australian woman to lift the title in Melbourne.
“[I have a] massive sense of pride in Ash and her ability to do what she’s done,” added Tyzzer.
“Sometimes I just think I’m not sure how she walks out there and does it with the expectations, with the nation right behind her, and everyone wanting her to win. You can’t walk around the corner and hear that, you know, it’s 44 years or how long it’s been since someone has won it.
“It’s an amazing feat. It’s phenomenal. To be part of it is amazing, but I’m thrilled every day to work with Ash. What she does never surprises me, but I’m just glad that I’m part of it.”