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February 9, 2019

Ashleigh Barty

Asheville, North Carolina

A. BARTY/S. Kenin

6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Ash, walk us through what was going through your mind when you were serving for the match in the 10th game.
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Yeah, look, I think I was all of two or three centimeters away from serving that out. I missed a serve on my match point. Yeah, got a little bit patchy.

I think my response at 6-5 was the most pleasing thing, knowing I came back out straightaway, moved on, kept my spots on serve, got back in control.

Q. Talk a little bit about how important it is to win that first point for the team.
ASHLEIGH BARTY: It's always a bonus going up 1-0, knowing you've kind of got your foot in the door a little bit.

In saying that, for us it doesn't really matter who plays first. We have full confidence in everyone. I'm backing Kim in here. She's been training extremely well all week. Hopefully she can go out there, relax, play her kind of game, put us up 2-0.

Q. As the away team, it's important to keep the crowd quiet. You had a good start, 2-0, then she had a few breakpoint chances there. How big do you think that game was to get that early lead consolidated, keep the crowd out of it?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: It's always a challenge in Fed Cup. Always a challenge I enjoy, to be honest. It's very nice playing at home, having the crowd with you. When you play away, it's a bit of a different ballgame, a different battle. I certainly enjoy it. I love it.

I think it was important for me to start well. Regardless of what was happening during the match, it was important for me to start well, try to set the tone early, put pressure on her straightaway.

Q. With Kim being a pretty big underdog against Madison, do you feel any extra pressure to get that early lead so she could play her game, worst case it's 1-1?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: No pressure at all. For me, it's an opportunity to go out there, enjoy playing for my country, enjoy the fact I have the privilege of putting on the green and gold, wearing Australia on my back. Playing after the national anthem in the first rubber is very, very special. I always say that. I said that to Mol after the draw was done yesterday. I have the opportunity to go out there and try to do the best for my team, my captain and my country.

Q. Some players like to have a captain or a coach in their ear during the match. Other players not so much. Where do you fall on that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: Mol and I talk before the match. I talk with my coach before the match. Mol also speaks with Tyz as my coach. We're all very much on the same page. We know exactly what needs to be done.

For me, there's not much conversation with Mol. A lot of it's reassurance. At times I ask her a question or see what she's seeing from the side. Sometimes it does look different from the outside as to how it feels. Certainly today it was a lot of reassurance. I knew exactly what I needed to do in the match.

Mol is an exceptional captain in reading people. She knows I'm different to Kim, to Dasha, to Pri, to Astra, Sam and Casey, who are not playing. Everyone is a little different. Mol is exceptional at reading that, knowing exactly what to say at the right moment.

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