Read more Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Australian Open Tennis Australian Open 2019 Support The Guardian Bernard Tomic’s attack on Leyton Hewitt symptomatic of mateship gone sour Topics Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Australia sport Share via Email Share on LinkedIn “He’s crook. He’s on bed rest at the moment,” Barty said. “[I’m] extremely lucky to have a Fed Cup captain in ‘Mol’, who I’ve spent a lot of time with around Fed Cup, as well, but ’Mol’ is also around a lot of the slams.“It’s a very seamless transition. I still have the same discussion with Tyz. It’s just not face to face; it’s over the phone. Then ‘Mol’ is able to relay that as well and to reassure me.”Barty’s win was her sixth in nine days. “It’s great to be playing in Australia and playing well. Yeah, it’s nice to just get into the tournament, to be honest. Very happy with the way I have started 2019, not just here in Melbourne but also in Perth and Sydney, hell of a start.”A finalist last week in Sydney, where she toppled world No.1 Simona Halep, the 22-year-old has surged into fourth favouritism to become the first home winner of the Open since Chris O’Neill in 1978.Barty, though, insisted the hype was easy to block out. “I don’t read the papers to start off with,” the Queenslander said. “I can come out here and play with freedom. Play my game.“When I’m playing well, I’m really enjoying myself out on court and that is all I can ask of every match. If I win, it’s a bonus. If I lose, the sun still comes up the next day and it’s all good.”Barty will play Maria Sakkari on Friday for a place in the second week of the Open for the first time. The pair have split their previous two encounters, but Barty is wary after losing to the Greek in straight sets last year in Indian Wells.“Maria, I’m great friends with and have a really great relationship,” Barty said. “She’s one of the best movers and competitors out there. Will be very tough.” Playing with freedom and no fear, Ashleigh Barty has powered into the Australian Open third round without even a coach. Barty clubbed China’s Yafan Wang 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday before revealing she had been largely flying solo during her charge to the last 32 for only the second time.With trusty mentor Craig Tyzzer quarantining himself from Melbourne Park with a virus, Barty has been leaning on Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik for support while carrying the hopes of the nation. match reports Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Ashleigh Barty Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.