Ash Barty was at her best as she was pushed on her thoughts the medical timeout that killed her momentum in her quarter-final against Karolina Muchova, effectively wiping it out of the Australian Open.
The world No.1 rarely throws a shadow over her opponents under any circumstances and she played an extensive press conference with a straight bat when asked if medical breaks should be allowed for issues such as dizziness.
Barty’s verdict on medical downtime
“I don’t write the rules. I don’t write the rules. I respect them. All of us players, we respect the rules that are written,” Barty said.
“It’s not for me to say here whether or not she was injured. They are physiotherapists and doctors.
“Obviously, she took her medical downtime meant there was something wrong. She was on the rules, on the guidelines for taking that time.”
One of her closest friends, Casey Dellacqua, was not so diplomatic in Nine’s cover immediately after Barty was spectacularly relieved of her home grand slam.
Dellacqua, who called the match alongside Jim Courier and Sam Smith, described Muchova’s decision to make the stop as “ethically disgusting”.
“There will be some questions asked about medical time out,” Dellacqua said.
“(It’s) legally fine. I think she said she felt dizzy, but then she got out and everything they did for her really helped her because she got out and she played really good tennis, started moving her serve, started moving her serve, started using her forehand really well, got much further forward.
“… She’s going to take one under the rules, the vertigo is clearing for better or worse at the moment … (It’s) legally fine but ethically disgusting.”
Ash Barty’s Devastating Walk
Barty was firmly in charge of the game before his charge for the semi-finals was cut short by an unforeseen disruption.
The Australian star played one of his best sets of Grand Slam tennis to move into a set of the last four, beating Muchova on the first serve of the match to claim a 6-1 victory in the first set.
Still, everything turned immediately when Muchova called for a medical time-out after Barty broke again for a 2-1 lead in the second set.
Barty was never able to consolidate the break, with Muchova immediately erasing the home hopeful’s advantage by beating the world No.1 for the first time in the game to tie the set at 2-2.
From that point on, the Czech took control, Barty completely losing her pace and spraying unforced errors all over the pitch.
Speaking at her press conference, Barty admitted that she was completely upset by the sudden end of the match.
“I would have liked to be a little more precise in the next game. I started well with the first point, I just made a few mistakes in this game,” said Barty.
“I think for the rest of the set it was history, it was just over and over. Probably rushed a bit trying to be too aggressive.
“There were some break points, I think it was that 3-all, it was probably a bit critical game in the momentum of the second set.
“I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t bring the game back on my terms after she took this break.”
Muchova explains medical downtime
Barty added that the weather had clearly played a role as Melbourne kicked off one of its few hot days in the tournament which was a major factor in the medical downtime.
“I mean, I think looking the other way you could see she was taking her time quite often. It was probably the first hottest day we’ve had here in a while,” said Barty.
“I tried not to focus on her too much. It’s about doing things the right way for me, the way I wanted to play the game.
“I felt like I lost my way there in the second set, halfway there, kinda lost that momentum that I had built.”
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