Mystery man behind Ash Barty's meteoric rise to top of world tennis

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·Sports Editor
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Ash Barty, pictured here with Ben Crowe.
Ben Crowe has helped Ash Barty reach the summit of women's tennis. Image: Twitter

We know all about Ash Barty's coach Craig Tyzzer and her boyfriend Garry Kissick, but there's another man behind-the-scenes who deserves some credit for Ash Barty's historic Wimbledon triumph.

Barty became the first Australian woman since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980 to win the Wimbledon title last week, continuing her incredible run at the top of women's tennis.

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She's been World No.1 for over two years now and doesn't look like slowing down anytime soon.

Barty's meteoric rise to the summit of her sport came about just after she linked up with professional mentor and 'performance coach' Ben Crowe.

Crowe has been helping Barty with the mental side of being a professional athlete, and the results speak for themselves.

"It's so beautiful and humbling for the rest of us as Australians to see someone focus on being a good human being first, and a great athlete second," Crowe told ABC Radio last week.

"But she also remembers to celebrate the opportunities she's creating for herself and have that sense of appreciation and thankfulness.

"Going back to that child-like, carefree, without-consequence little girl who fell in love with the game, and reminds herself of that person.

"[It] is an incredibly powerful technique as well."

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Crowe comes so highly-regarded that the producer of blockbuster Broadway musical 'Hamilton' has hired him to help his cast and crew get through Covid lockdown in Sydney.

“I’ve been seeing Ben for a while now and frankly, without him, I’m not sure how I would have been able to get to this point," Michael Cassel told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"He has been a huge help for me to deal with what is an overwhelming situation, which is very difficult to navigate and full of uncertainty."

Barty's father Rob also gave a glowing endorsement of Crowe after his daughter's triumph in the Wimbledon final.

Michael Cassel, pictured here at the Australian premiere of Hamilton in Sydney.
Michael Cassel at the Australian premiere of Hamilton in Sydney. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

"She used to speak to her first coach, Jim Joyce, about things like this, but then she went through a period where she didn’t want to tell people what she was thinking or what she was aiming for,” Rob Barty told the Herald.

“Then she got in connection with Ben Crowe, and Ben’s done an amazing job with her, and Ben said ‘let’s tell the world what you want to do, let’s tell the world how you’re going to do it, and let’s live the dream’. And the difference he’s made to her life and her tennis is just incredible.”

Crowe also works with fellow tennis superstar Dylan Alcott, who made it a double delight for Australia by winning the wheelchair singles final at Wimbledon.

Alcott moved ever closer to a potential calendar year 'Golden slam' of titles after landing his third grand slam triumph of the year, winning 6-2 6-2 in the final over his biggest current rival - Dutchman Sam Schroder.

Alcott's triumph came on Centre Court just hours before Barty completed her own title-clinching victory.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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