Super-coach Craig Tyzzer has detailed the lengths he and Ash Barty reach to perfect the most potent shot in women's tennis.
The Barty serve.
The weapon Barty hopes will fire her to Australian Open glory in Saturday night's final against American Danielle Collins.
The stealth serve has already decimated her rivals this summer with the world No.1 lining up 10 victims from 10 matches and winning a phenomenal 81 of her past 82 service games.
She's won 84 per cent of points after landing her first delivery at Melbourne Park, numbers that have surpassed even the best efforts from Serena Williams - widely considered the finest server women's tennis has seen.
But it's no coincidence, with Tyzzer revealing he and Barty spent endless hours mastering her serve to ensure it holds up in any conditions and, most importantly, when she is fatigued or under pressure.
"We do spend a lot of time on it. We do a lot of targets, a lot of specifics about where to serve and what comes back," Tyzzer said.
"Then we work on building the technique and the rhythm for her so that she feels comfortable even when she is tired in the legs.
"Or even when it's deep into a match, so that she's still got that same rhythm and same feeling.
"We've done a lot of work through pre-season on those things."
The hard work is reaping rewards, but Barty says the foundation for her serving excellence was along time in the making.
Standing 165cm tall, the Wimbledon champion has spent her entire life hitting "baskets and baskets" of serves to make up in precision what she lacks in height.
"I'm not the biggest girl out there, but I know I've got a sound technique and I know if I can get my rhythm right and use it effectively, it can be a weapon," Barty said.
"As a kid, I was always serving baskets and baskets of serves to try to create that weapon, try to create a really sound shot.
"I've just been able to find some good rhythm and a big part of that is protecting my second serve when I need to do as well.
"I thought I've done a pretty good job of that over the last half dozen matches or so.
"For me, it's serving to set up the next shot that I want. It's not always trying to hit it as hard as I can. Rarely am I red-lining, hitting a serve as hard as I can.
"It's more about the placement, thinking about what kind of return I'm going to get to try to set up the rest of the point.
"It's the one shot in tennis that you have full control over. That's how you get to start the point.
"It's more about trying to start it on my terms as regularly as I can."
Australian Associated Press
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