Ash Barty’s father reflects on a daughter ‘who always puts others first’

Ash Barty's famous Australian Open triumph has elevated her into the pantheon of all-time greats to have won grand slam crowns on three different surfaces.

For Robert Barty, seeing his daughter Ash win the Australian Open final wasn’t what mattered most. It was how she conducted herself that counted.

At the behest of Barty, Robert made the mad dash to Melbourne Park for Saturday’s final only after the top seed won her semi and he insisted Saturday night’s result was secondary to the family.

“If she plays well, she plays well. If she behaves, that’s even better,” he told AAP on Sunday.

Ash, beat American Danielle Collins in a two-set thriller, claiming her place among tennis royalty’s most exclusive club with a third grand slam crown on three different surfaces.

Among active players, only Barty and the sport’s four ‘GOATs’ – greatest of all-time contenders – Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have snared majors on clay, grass and hard courts.

Barty and Williams are the only two of that esteemed club to have won their first three slams on the three surfaces.

Ash Barty with her parents Robert and Josie in November 2017.
Ash Barty relies on the support of her family when she’s on the road. Source: AAP

Robert Barty said his daughter’s two sisters Ali, 28, and Sara, 30, are “Ash’s biggest fans”.

“They will do absolutely anything to make her life as normal as possible…

“They know just how tough it when she’s out on the road, alone, and away from her family and she really does miss her family.”

Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer says the world No.1 is “a much better person than she is a tennis player” – and that’s what makes Barty’s parents most proud.

“You get all these people come and say ‘gee, your daughter’s the No.1 tennis player in the world’ but it’s even better when people say ‘God, she’s such a lovely girl’,” Barty’s father said.

“First and foremost, she’s my daughter and I love the fact that she always puts others first.

“It’s quite easy from a tennis perspective for her to say, because it’s such a lonely sport, I’ve won the Australian Open, I’ve won Wimbledon – but she doesn’t.

“It’s always ‘we’ and the royal we is the whole team because she knows what it takes to get her on the court from everyone in the team.”

‘Pretty amazing’: Barty humbled after win

Typically humble, Barty is crediting childhood coach Jim Joyce for helping her claim her third grand slam crown.

“I feel very humble to be in such a select group,” Barty said in the jubilant aftermath to her 6-3 7-6 (7-2) win on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night.

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