Ashleigh Barty has revealed how working with her mindset coach Ben Crowe has helped her to reach the Australian Open final.
The world No. 1 beat Madison Keys 6-1, 6-3 in their semi-final on Rod Laver Arena, powering past her opponent thanks to her thunderous service game and a succession of unstoppable winners. She will now face another American in Danielle Collins in the tournament decider on Saturday, having become the first Australian woman to reach the final in 42 years.
Speaking in the Eurosport Cube following her triumph against Keys, Barty opened up on how changing her mentality has helped to improve her game. “My mentor, Ben Crowe, has been a massive part of my life,” she said. “He helped my team, he helped me to change the perception of how I viewed everything, really.
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“I was able to grow as a person and really start enjoying my tennis a lot more. It’s taken me to that next level and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the work.
“We’ve had to work really hard and I love it. I love trying to piece together all the pieces of the puzzle to try to make me a complete tennis player, and it’s been fantastic to have him as part of that team.”
Asked whether she would have to take a different mindset into the final, Barty admitted it would be a unique challenge. “It’s exciting, you get to play for a Grand Slam title and that doesn’t happen every week,” she said.
“But I think the processes and the routines that we go through leading up to the match are really similar. We stay really light, we have fun, we embrace the environment but we don’t get overawed by it.
“We just go out there and play and have fun. I know that when I do that, that’s when I play my best tennis and I can compete for each and every point. Ultimately, I’ve been able to do that really well so far this month in January.”

Wilander and Henman analyse Barty's slice-backhand shot

As the first Australian to reach the women’s singles final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, the whole nation will be behind Barty on Saturday evening.
Asked about the weight of expectation, she said: “It’s a home Grand Slam for us. I get the opportunity to come out here on the weekend and do something amazing.
“But it’s about enjoying that experience and really soaking it all up. You have to be able to enjoy it and just go out there, take it all in, embrace it, smile and try to have fun.”
Meanwhile, Eurosport tennis expert and seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander believes Barty won’t be feeling any extra pressure in Saturday’s women’s singles final despite being the home favourite.
“If you asked me two weeks ago I would’ve said she felt a lot of pressure,” he said. “Not today, not in the finals. She is beyond all that. Her serve is better than everybody else, her forehand is better than everybody else and she moves better than everybody else.
“She has her weakness which is her sliced backhand. But she has so many options. How safe will she feel out there? I think she says [she’s] going to do her best and she has a great mindset.”
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