“Looking At It From a Wider Lens”: Ashleigh Barty Reveals Tactics to Handle Pressure

Published 04/26/2021, 6:14 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in action during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat


World number one Ashleigh Barty, who won the Stuttgart Open recently, was criticized for still holding the number one ranking despite not playing a single tournament when the tour resumed at the end of last year.

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The rankings freeze which both the tours introduced had helped Barty to stay on top of the pile while she was away from the game. Her comeback this year would surely answer all the questions of her still being the number one ranked player. The Australian clinched three WTA tour titles and reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open this year.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates winning match point during her Women’s Singles first round match against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

A 45-shot rally and a double-fault have the same value, says Ashleigh Barty

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Her recent victories against Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, and Aryna Sabalenka at the Stuttgart Open have all come from a set down. Barty’s dominance was visible from the second set onwards as it kept on rising till the match was finished. To bounce back after losing a set is no cakewalk. But the Aussie managed to do this feat thrice in a single tournament, and in back-to-back matches.

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Speaking after her victory, Barty explained how she handles the pressure in big matches after knowing that the game can turn upside down within a few seconds.

I think at times it’s important to realize some big moments or some key moments in matches, but ultimately, no matter how good or how bad the point is, its value is the same. Whether it’s a 45-shot rally and you scramble all over the court but then the next point you hit a double fault, they’ve both got the same value,” Barty explained.

“Important not to let that one point feel like it changes the match” – Barty

While a lot of tennis enthusiasts believe that a single point can change the fortunes in a match, the number one ranked player has a different point of view.

“It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter whether it’s the first point of the match, a break point or match point, whatever it is you do in that point is only the value of one. So it’s important not to let one point feel like it changes the match because it doesn’t… Yes, there can be shifts in momentum, but if you tell yourself that one point changed a match, I think you’ve kind of viewed it the wrong way… Looking at it from a wider lens and a different perspective is important sometimes,” the Australian continued.

Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 24, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty receives a bouquet of flowers for her birthday after winning her semi final match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

Usually a cool customer on-court, Barty’s excellent handling of the scoreboard pressure by treating all the points as one seems to be working so far. It’s a natural thing to see players faltering on important points during a set, especially on their serve.

As the Australian mentioned, if they can see the big picture and consider their overall performance to blame for their loss instead of that one bad point, they can be relieved of a huge burden.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

593 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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