Bringing the Barty brand to the clay
Clay had never been Barty’s favourite surface, who famously joked last year in Charleston and said: “Every week we're on the clay is a week we're closer to the grass.”
So it’s understandable that neither Barty, nor Tyzzer, expected her to walk away with the trophy in Paris this year.
But consistency across the season had been a main goal for the Queenslander since the start of the season and she was determined to give it her all on the red dirt during the spring. Her confidence was already boosted after making her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final on home soil in Australia and hoisting her first Premier Mandatory trophy in Miami.
It was in Madrid, just two weeks prior to the start of Roland-Garros, that Barty felt like she unlocked something within herself on clay.
“The match in the quarter-final against Sim (Simona Halep) I felt was a little bit of a turning point,” Barty revealed to WTA Insider.
“Even though I lost the match, it was five and five, had a lot of opportunities and felt like I was more than in it against the best clay-courter in women's tennis at the moment.
“So I think for me that match was a little bit of an eye-opener, knowing that I could hang with the best.
“Then moving into Paris, it was about just trying to stay fresh and in the end still play that kind of aggressive mindset and play my brand of tennis and not get stuck into a clay-court brand that I'm not overly familiar with or comfortable with. So it was important for me to still play my style of tennis and that Ash Barty brand of tennis, seeing as it can work on a clay court. I think it was about finding that balance.”