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Ash Barty says her latest title in Cincinnati took her by surprise, with the Aussie revealing details of an emotional "crash" in the wake of her historic Wimbledon triumph.
Barty will commence her title tilt at the US Open at the end of the month after cruising to victory at the Cincinnati Masters without dropping a set.
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The 25-year-old's dominant display confirmed why she's way out on her own as the World No.1 and cemented her status as favourite to add a third grand slam title to her burgeoning trophy cabinet.
However, Barty admits that her latest triumph was not as straightforward as it might seem to those outside her inner circle.
The Aussie admits that after winning her maiden Wimbledon title and then heading straight to Japan - where she won a mixed doubles bronze medal with compatriot John Peers at the Olympic Games - Barty experienced an emotional "crash" she was still feeling the effects of in Cincinnati.
“I think sometimes after big wins — and I felt it both times after the French Open and after Wimbledon — there’s been a little bit of a big crash, more emotionally than anything else, because there’s so much invested into that event,” Barty said in an interview with WTA Insider.
“But I’m so incredibly lucky to have such a good team around me who can put things into perspective and then also lift me up and lighten things up, typically those weeks after big events.
“It was probably the strangest feeling of my life in those days after winning Wimbledon. I kind of wasn’t sure what I should be doing. I didn’t know what to do.
“It certainly took a little bit longer. I felt like I still had a lot of fatigue in Tokyo. I had a lot of fatigue the last two weeks. Even at the start of this week, I was a little bit unsure of what my tennis was going to be like, purely from a mental and emotional standpoint.
Barty explained that she normally would have headed home to spend time with family after her Wimbledon success, but despite the disappointment of being be able to do so, tennis has provided a fitting alternative.
"Having Tokyo was almost the perfect distraction and reset. I didn't dwell on us not going home, and that helped me," she reflected.
"It is the grand adventure.
"Once we left Australia, our mindset was this is going to be a year like no other and we're going to have to find ways to not only enjoy it but entertain ourselves.
"There've been times where I've felt days have been long, everything's dragged out.
"Fortunately, I have been busy playing a lot of matches, the best distraction possible to pass time."
She is supported by coach Craig Tyzzer and boyfriend Gary Kissick, who head her team.
"We're just trying to play each match and kind of live each day as best we can, make sure we laugh, smile and have a good time, and the rest will take care of itself," she said.
Ash Barty buzzing after 40th match win of the year
The 26-year-old is having a good time on court, that is absolutely clear - and, goodness, how winning helps.
Sunday's Cincinnati final win over the outmatched Jil Teichmann was Barty's WTA-leading 40th match win of the year and offered absolutely no encouragement for the other Flushing Meadows contenders.
Could she have envisaged in March that she would still, with September looming, be playing at this high level, perhaps more supreme than ever?
"I really did hope, and I think that we have certainly had weeks where we have been more flat, weeks where I have struggled physically, mentally," Barty said.
"But that's normal, it comes with being a professional athlete.
"It's a bonus that I was able to win Wimbledon, and a bonus now that I get to continue to do what I love.
"And we just keep chipping away, keep trying to get better every single day as a tennis player.
"If that means more titles, that's great. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
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