Barty’s bizarre midnight practice ritual
TENNIS: The clock had almost struck 12 after her latest Sydney International win, but Ashleigh Barty insists there was no better time to get more reps in than under the midnight sky.
Not content with her straight-sets win over Aussie qualifier Ellen Perez, Australia's top ranked player opted to hit more balls on show court one instead of heading to recovery after the rain effected match.
And the 21-year-old revealed it's not the first time she has used late-night sessions to iron out some kinks.
"After some matches we just go out and work on a few things. I just wanted to work on my rhythm and just hit my spots a little bit more in serve," she said.
"(We) probably only hit 35 or 40 serves after the match. But yeah, I just said to my coach, 'Let me jump off. We'll just grab a box of balls and go out for 10 minutes'."
Barty said it was the perfect chance to rectify her shortcomings before meeting world No.21 Strycova, who lost to the Ipswich product in Birmingham last year.
Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt clone, Alex De Minaur, looks to continue his hot streak against No.7 seed Damir Dzumhur after demolishing former world No.8 Fernando Verdasco in his opening match.
Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova will battle it out in an all-Aussie affair on Ken Rosewall Arena before John Millman tackles No.2 seed Gilles Muller.