Ashleigh Barty’s home grown touch
Ashleigh Barty's junior coach Jim Joyce said he can still see the variety in her game which he instituted when the world tennis No. 2 was a junior at his West Brisbane Tennis Centre.
"It is surreal watching her play,'' Joyce said.
"I am really thrilled for Ash because you would not get a better kid to coach.''
Last Saturday night the Woodcrest State College past student from Springfield beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3 at Roland Garros to claim the French Open.
It was the first time since the great Margaret Court in 1973 that an Australian woman had claimed the title.
Barty may travel the world but her and Joyce have an unbreakable bond.
Last year, when Barty claimed a round two win on the grass at Wimbledon, she told the presenter: "Jim basically taught me everything I know.''
Joyce said when he heard Barty's public acclamation of him, "I nearly died in my chair''.
Then at this year's Australian Open, the giant-killing Barty went further during the tournament at a press conference.
"Jim has been a massive part of my tennis throughout my whole career,'' she said. "When he is able to come to tournaments, he comes along.
"He has been an absolute integral part of my tennis. He has taught me everything that I needed to know.
"Even today he can read me like a book out on the court, he can predict me more times than not and knows exactly what is going on.''
Joyce said it was nice to be part of her inner sanctum.
"It is still great to be there if she has any issues, we can still discuss them,'' he said.
Last month following her Miami Open victory which propelled Barty into the top 10 for the first time in her career, Joyce urged Barty to reach for the stars and chase a Grand Slam win this year.
And so Barty did.