Ashleigh Barty’s hopes of winning her first home grand slam will be put on hold for another year after she lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to 25th seed Karolina Muchova.
Muchova came back after a medical time out to attack Barty’s serve to win the match 6-1 3-6 2-6 and advance to her first grand slam semifinals.Embed from Getty Images
But with Barty dominating the opening set, the match was turned on its head by a lengthy medical time out during the second set, which received some criticism on Twitter for not being within the game’s values.
It was a hot day at the Rod Laver Arena, with temperatures on-court reaching over 31º, and Karolina Muchova announced after the match that she had suffered from signs of heatstroke.
“It [the heat] got to me. I was feeling kind of dizzy at some point, like really, really lost and almost fainting. So, yeah, I just asked for help,” Muchova said after the match.
“No, it was more they just checked my (blood) pressure because I was a bit lost. I was spinning. So they cooled me down a bit with ice, and it helped me.”Embed from Getty Images
And despite being pressed on the issue by reporters during her post-match press conference, Barty maintained that she would not blame her loss on Muchova’s medical time out.
“It’s within the rules,” the world No.1 said. “She’s within her rights to take that time. If she wasn’t within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so,” Barty said.
“That’s the laws of our game, is that we have those medical timeouts for cases that are needed. Obviously, she needed that today. Completely within the rules for her to take that.“Embed from Getty Images
“From my point of view, I’ve played a lot of matches where there have been medical timeouts. I’ve taken medical timeouts myself before, so that shouldn’t be a massive turning point in the match. I was disappointed that I let that become a turning point. I’m experienced enough now to be able to deal with that.“
“It’s a disappointment today without a doubt. But we learn, and we move on.“
Having not played in over a year, Barty’s return to tennis has been nothing but impressive to watch, picking up her first piece of silverware this season at the Yarra Valley classic while also advancing to the quarterfinals of the grand slam.
And although frustrated with the loss, the world No.1 said she was motivated to bounce back and learn from the experience.
” It’s heartbreaking, of course. But will it deter me? Will it ruin the fact we’ve had a really successful start to our season? Absolutely not.“
“The sun will come up tomorrow. We go about our work again. You’re either winning or your learning.”
“I think today is a massive learning curve for me, for (my coach), my team as well. We take the positives out of it, without a doubt, and don’t let this particular match, this particular hour of tennis deter us from what we’re trying to do.“
Featured Image: Petra Kvitová beat Ashleigh Barty – Sydney International 2019 Womens Tennis Final WTA by neeravbhatt // https://www.flickr.com/photos/74601184@N00/47121132252 // Licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/Download permissions