Meet the Australian who plotted Ash Barty’s Wimbledon downfall
Australian world number one Ash Barty is out of Wimbledon.
The French Open champion lost 3-6 6-2 6-3 to powerful American Alison Riske in their fourth-round clash.
After the 23-year-old Queenslander won the opening set, Riske’s free-wheeling style was too much for Barty as she lost for the first time in 16 matches.
Craig O’Shannessy, Australian tennis coach and Novak Djokovic’s chief strategist, was contacted by Riske’s coach to devise a game plan to take down the world’s best female player.
Speaking on Macquarie Sports Radio just hours after the upset victory, O’Shannessy said his in-depth knowledge of Barty’s game played a significant role in plotting her downfall.
“You can give game plans to players and they can follow it or not follow it,” he told Macquarie Sports Radio.
“She lost the first set and really stuck with the plan.
“I think a lot of this game plan came down to watching Ash be so successful at Roland Garros.
“Sitting there, I got a really good feel for her game.
“Congrats to Ash for having an unbelievable run in the last couple of months and being number one in the world but it just wasn’t her day today.”
But despite being Australian, O’Shannessy said it was simply the nature of the sport that he was contacted to try help take down the world number one.
“I love Australian tennis and I love Ash,” he said.
“The bottom line is we play a global sport and it’s just the way it is.
“I’d love to only work with Australians and deliver victories there but it’s just not the way it is.”
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