Shocked Barty’s hilarious phone gag
Ash Barty has taken a leaf out of Tim Paine's playbook, answering a reporter's phone in a press conference ahead of the Adelaide International.
Barty, who was stunned in the Brisbane singles before getting some time on court in the doubles after making it through to the final, was relaxed ahead of the tournament with the Australian Open a week away.
Watch over 50 sports LIVE on Kayo! Stream to your TV, mobile, tablet or computer. Just $25/month, cancel anytime. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
As she sat down, one of the phones went off and Barty asked "Does anyone know a Kez, it's got a grandma emoji?"
But when the response "yeah, can you put it on Aeroplane Mode" came down from the back, Barty decided on a different path.
"Hey Kez," Barty said, before thinking she'd been hung up on.
"You still there? Hello. Who are you trying to reach?
"It's Ash Barty, who's this?
"He left his phone on during a press conference."
But it ended there when the mystery Kez with a grandma emoji hung up.
"She hung up on me," Barty said with a shocked look on her face.
It's probably not that often anymore that someone doesn't want to talk to the World No. 1.
Funny moment in Ash Barty’s pre-tournament press, as a journalist’s phone goes off on the dais. It’s his grandmother.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 13, 2020
“Hello.... he’s not available at the moment. This is Ash Barty.”
“She hung up on me.” #AdelaideTennis pic.twitter.com/6H6c4IT7gZ
It was a brilliant response from the 22-year-old Aussie who has won fans with her press conference antics in the past, including dropping Disney references in her Wimbledon pressers.
Tennis legend Roger Federer also revealed he's a fan but had some tips for the Aussie star to with pressure bound to be on her at next week's Australian Open.
"She can have a different mindset," 20-time grand slam champion Federer said. "It can relax you and you can really explore all of your potential and that's what happened to me when I won my first major, and I broke through as world No. 1 after that.
"I thought, 'Well now I'm the guy to beat and I prefer to be in this position rather than being a contender'.
"I hope that Ash is also going to see it that way."
Barty responded and said
"Roger's done a pretty good job of it over an extended period," she said. "He's the best of the best and has been in that position for a long time, but I don't think necessarily that he changes whether it's 1, 2, 3 or 10 next to his name. I think for me and my team, we're trying to take that same approach. Having a number next to your name doesn't guarantee anything, it doesn't guarantee wins, you still have to go out there and do the work and get the runs on the board and work from there.
"All you can do is do the best every single match and that's how I'm going to approach Adelaide, that's how I'm going to approach the Australian Open and that's how I'm going to try and approach the rest of my career regardless of the number next to my name."
It wasn't the ideal start to the year for Barty, who lost in her first match of the year against World No. 53 Jennifer Brady, but won her way through to the final of the doubles with Kiki Bertens before they lost to top seeds and Wimbledon champions Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 10-8.
As the press conference got into full swing, the unflappable star said it was great to be home.
"It's phenomenal to play at home again, it's my backyard where the Brisbane International is played, I train there day in, day out," she said. "It's the perfect way to start the year for us Aussies to have the first month at home."
Barty's coach Craig Tyzzer said the big difference between Barty last year and where she is now is belief.
"The turning point for me for the year was probably the semi-final at the French, when she probably doubted herself," he said. "She went up early against Amanda (Anisimova) then lost her way, almost convinced herself she couldn't win it and then to stand up and say 'no I can do this was probably the biggest step forward in 18 months. It led to her winning a Grand Slam, it led to he becoming World No. 1 - without that semi, all of that probably doesn't happen."