Our Ash enters world top 10
Springfield's Ashleigh Barty has entered the world tennis top 10 for the first time after upsetting Petra Kvitova at the Miami Open today.
Barty, who will return to Brisbane next month to spearhead Australia's Federation Cup campaign, kept her nerve to claim a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-2 victory following a two-plus hour rain delay.
It was a triumphant moment for the Woodcrest State College past student after she lost to Kvitova at the Australian Open earlier in the year.
To think it all started at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre at Richlands when, aged around five years, she answered a call out from coach Jim Joyce for prospective young players interested in joining coaching clinics at the Archerfield Rd tennis facility.
The family was quick to acknowledge Joyce after today's victory, with Barty's father Rob texting minutes after the win to say: "Congratulations mate, you have a top 10 player from West Brisbane.''
Joyce said it was a "fantastic moment'' to see her enter the top 10.
"You always knew she had talent but she has put it all together with the mental side of the game and the physical side,'' he said. "She is fitter than ever before. But the big difference is her mental side."
Joyce is still very much a part of Barty's support network and Barty regularly thanks him in public for his influence.
Indeed after an interview in England last year and at this year's Australian Open, Barty made reference to Joyce "teaching me everything I know''.
"When I heard her say that I almost died in my chair,'' Joyce said.
Next month's homecoming in Brisbane will be a moment to saviour for her family, Joyce and her local friends.