Tennis

Determined and grateful: Insight into a champion’s mindset


Australian world No.1s Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott headline the day 10 schedule at Australian Open 2021.

Melbourne, Australia, 17 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

When Ash Barty steps on court on day 10 of Australian Open 2021, the world No.1 plans to saviour the moment.

“I’m just extremely grateful that I’ve got another opportunity to do something that I love out on one of the most beautiful courts in the world, on the biggest stage for us as Aussies playing tennis, which is really cool,” she said ahead of today’s quarterfinal showdown with No.25 seed Karolina Muchova at Rod Laver Arena.

Through to the quarterfinals for a third consecutive year at Melbourne Park, Barty is fiercely determined to continue her winning run too.

She is aiming to become the first local woman to reach consecutive Australian Open singles semifinals since Wendy Turnbull in 1981.

“We’re not done yet. Obviously it’s exciting to be in another quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, particularly here in Australia,” she said.

“To have the start that we have had so far is really encouraging, but certainly not satisfied with where we’re at at the moment. We will keep chipping away and keep trying to do the right things to progress as far as we can.”

Fellow world No.1 Dylan Alcott gets his chance to experience more Grand Slam glory when he plays world No.3 Sam Schroder in the Australian Open quad wheelchair singles final tonight.

But rather than focusing on winning a record-breaking seventh Australian Open title, the 30-year-old Melburnian is simply determined to enjoy the moment too.

“All I’m worried about is just being the best version of Dylan, out here having fun – and then we’ll see what happens,” he says.

“We are so lucky to be playing tennis at the moment. We aren’t taking that opportunity for granted. I feel very grateful to be here. When you are grateful for the moment, I think you can relax.”

Aussies in action today:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v [25] Karolina Muchova (CZE)
Women’s singles, quarterfinal, Rod Laver Arena, day session, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Targeting a second consecutive Australian Open semifinal, Barty is ready for a tough battle with fellow 24-year-old Muchova. The world No.27 is in impressive form, defeating world No.6 Karolina Pliskova and world No.16 Elise Mertens in her past two matches. “It will be a brilliant match,” Barty says. “I know she’s got the ability to maneuver the ball all around the court, play with variety, play with shape. I’m looking forward to it.”
Head-to-head record: Barty leads 1-0
Last meeting: Barty won 6-3 6-4 (US Open, 2018)

[1] Dylan Alcott (AUS) v Sam Schroder (NED)
Quad wheelchair singles, final, Rod Laver Arena, night session, second match
World No.1 Alcott is one win away from claiming a record seventh Australian Open title – but standing in his way is the world No.3, who defeated him in last year’s US Open final. The 30-year-old Alcott holds a 5-1 career record against the 21-year-old Schroder and has won their past two matches, including a Victorian Wheelchair Open quarterfinal earlier this month.
Head-to-head record: Alcott leads 5-1
Last meeting: Alcott won 6-1 6-3 (Melbourne, 2021)

[WC] Marc Polmans (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) v [WC] Max Purcell (AUS)/Arina Rodionova (AUS)
Mixed doubles, quarterfinals, Margaret Court Arena, fourth match (not before 4.30pm)
A career-first Grand Slam mixed doubles semifinal is the prize on offer for the winner of this all-Australian showdown. Polmans, 23, and Sanders, 26, are playing their second Australian Open mixed quarterfinal, while this is a first for Purcell, 22, and Rodionova, 31. Polmans and Purcell are the only players on court to have previously made a Grand Slam semifinal, achieving the feat once each in men’s doubles.

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2021 day 10 schedule

TV GUIDE: How to watch Australian Open 2021



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