Ashleigh Barty’s coach is placing no limit on his superstar charge’s potential as he outlines their plan to take her game to even greater heights in 2020.
World No.1 Barty will launch her summer assault on Wednesday at the Brisbane International against five-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova or a qualifier, and will round out her Australian Open preparations in Adelaide next week.
After helping her become the first woman ever to surge from outside the world’s top 10 to finish as season-ending No.1, WTA coach of the year Craig Tyzzer refuses to predict what Barty is capable of.
“Look, I don’t know with Ash. She’s really made strong gains very quickly in lots of areas so I actually don’t know what her peak is, what that’s going to be,” Tyzzer told AAP.
“Right now it’s pretty good. So if it can get better, it’s going to be pretty amazing.”
Tyzzer has little doubt that Barty will get even better, describing the 23-year-old as still very much a work in progress.
“She’s constantly putting time and effort in and the fact that she’s done well has also given her a boost,” he said.
“It’s made her think, ‘OK, what I’m doing is right and if I keep pushing hard I can go further’.
“So we’ve still got some areas where I think she can really improve and hopefully she can sustain what she’s been doing the past year over the next few years.”
Already boasting a backhand slice that is the envy of her rivals, Barty and Tyzzer have been working overtime on the French Open champion’s two-handed backhand to make that wing even more potent.
“We’re constantly developing her backhand in the way that she plays that,” Tyzzer said.
“We’re looking to develop the forehand as a weapon. I’m constantly trying to get her to transition more to the net in singles.
“It’s starting to get there. In singles, she’s been quite reluctant to do it. She enjoys playing from the back of the court.
“But she’s got such a good transitional game and volley that she needs to co-ordinate that more with what she does.”
Barty will be Australia’s first top seed at an Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003 and the first local woman since Dianne Fromholtz in 1977.
“There’s obviously going to be lots of talk and expectations, but Ash has been pretty good at handling that so far,” Tyzzer said.
“With Ash winning the French and going on and winning Birmingham (to become world No.1), with that sort of pressure on her, that’s given her an idea of what it’s going to be like over the summer.”