Ash Barty’s match prep secret revealed
THE countdown to Ash Barty's showdown with Czech Petra Kvitova is underway - and her recovery and preparation before Tuesday night's match is critical.
The 'Barty Party' is right behind her and she caught Australia's eye after she became the first Australian woman in a decade to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open after beating five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova.
While Barty is coy on social media with her fans, she has given them a small insight into how she has been recovering from her big matches.
Barty uses the RecoveryPump, a technique used by top athletes all over Australia and across the world.
The technology involves her wearing two long pneumatic (air) compression boots on her legs up to her hips, which are inflated within 30 seconds.
They then help increase circulation of the entire limb and hip flexor region.
According to the RecoverPump website, they offer sequential compression which can help repair muscles within one to two hours a day producing results compared to 12-48 hours of rest.
The RecoveryPump holds a long application of compression during the cycle and each boot stays filled as it completes a cycle, which increases the effectiveness of the therapy.
"Maximise the number of cycles and significantly increase the application of compression during the therapy session will result in the very best outcome for recovering muscle in the shortest amount of time," the website states.
"Each cycle of compression continuously offloads the venous system (entire limb) during a 30 to 40 second 'milking' sequence, thus moving significantly more blood and ultimately waste product."
If Barty wins on Tuesday night, she will play the winner of Tuesday's other quarter-final between little-known American Danielle Collins or unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The last Australian to reach the Australian Open women's semi-finals was Wendy Turnbull in 1984.
Martina Navratilova has said that Barty has the game to trouble Kvitova, the world No. 6 and two-time Wimbledon champion.
But only if she returns well against the classy left-hander who has beaten Barty in all three previous meetings, including in Sydney 10 days ago.
In her fourth-round win over young American Amanda Anismova, Kvitova could hardly miss, on target with a stunning 86 per cent of first serves and winning 83 per cent of those points.
Navratilova said that was the danger zone for Barty.
"Ash needs to take away that slice serve and not get beaten there but the way Petra served the other day it's going to be a hard one," Navratilova said.
"She served great, she played great and the match is on Petra's racquet - she's got the game to beat just about anybody when she's on.
"Ash has to somehow neutralise the power and mix it up but she's got the shots to bother Petra and break up her rhythm so we'll see."
Navratilova wants to see Barty come to the net to take time away from Kvitova, who has been ranked as high as world No.2.
The tennis legend says Barty's old-style game, mixing up her big groundstrokes with net placement and a mean slice, is a winner.
"That's they way of the future," Navratilova said.
"Everyone hits a great ball so now the next step is someone who can come to the net and knock the ball away at the net, especially on the faster courts.
"That's why you see variety now, everyone hits a great ball but variety now will beat a great ball."