Ash Barty’s friends have revealed how her relationship with Gary Kissick has helped her rise to the top of the tennis world.
Barty broke a 46-year drought earlier this month when she became the first Australian woman to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973.
Kissick couldn’t make it to Paris to cheer on his girlfriend in person, but posted an emotional message to social media afterwards.
“Amazing! The puppies and I are so proud of you baby! Many more to come,” Kissick wrote in an Instagram.
The 23-year-old has rocketed up the world rankings and now sits at No.1 heading into Wimbledon, following her title triumph at the Birmingham Open.
And according to those close to her, there’s no coincidence that her rise to the top has coincided with her romance with Kissick.
According to New Idea: “Friends say (Kissick)... is a big part of her success because together they have created a home filled with love.”
The magazine also quoted an ‘insider’ who revealed how the “all-round good guy” keeps Barty grounded.
"Ash and Garry support each other as equals in a down-to-earth way – neither of them want to be 'the star',” the insider said.
“They are both the nicest people you could ever meet, both hugely popular, and together they have something really beautiful going.
"Without even meaning to, Garry helps Ash play her very best tennis, because there's certainly no pressure from him."
Kissick, 28, is a trainee professional golfer and reportedly met Barty at Brooklands Golf Club in Queensland in 2016 when she was playing a round.
Barty’s stunning rise to No.1
Barty’s 6-3, 7-5 victory over Julia Goerges in Sunday’s final in Birmingham lifted her to the top of the womens’ rankings, the first time an Australian player has held the position since 1976.
After Naomi Osaka suffered a shock loss in the second round, Barty needed to win the title to overtake the Japanese star for the No.1 spot.
She is also just the fifth Australian to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973, joining Goolagong Cawley, John Newcombe, Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt.
Her win over Goerges was her 12th in a row, extending the remarkable run that saw her claim a maiden grand slam title at the French Open.