For Robert Barty, seeing his daughter win the Australian Open final wasn’t what mattered most.
As always, it was how she conducted herself that counted.
At the behest of Barty, Robert made the mad dash to Melbourne Park for Saturday’s final only after the top seed won her semi and he insisted Saturday night’s result was secondary to the family.
“If she plays well, she plays well. If she behaves, that’s even better,” he told AAP on Sunday.
“They’re the sort of things we look for.”
That Barty beat American Danielle Collins in a two-set thriller was merely a bonus, more so for the world No.1’s two sisters Ali, 28, and Sara, 30.
“Sara and Ali are Ash’s biggest fans. Ash means the world to them,” Robert Barty said.
“They will do absolutely anything to make her life as normal as possible.
“Just little things like home baking for her. The nieces and the nephews, they’re always around there playing with Ash.
“They’re Ash’s biggest fans because they know just how tough it when she’s out on the road, alone, and away from her family and she really does miss her family.”
Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer says the world No.1 is “a much better person than she is a tennis player” – and that’s what makes Barty’s parents most proud.
“You get all these people come and say ‘gee, your daughter’s the No.1 tennis player in the world’ but it’s even better when people say ‘God, she’s such a lovely girl’,” Barty’s father said.
“And it’s been the same this time with the hundreds of text messages that I’ve got.
“Sure there’s some in there that say congratulations, what a great win. But the ones that really hit home are the ones that talk about her as a person, how she’s a role model for their kids.
“First and foremost, she’s my daughter and I love the fact that she always puts others first.
“It’s quite easy from a tennis perspective for her to say, because it’s such a lonely sport, I’ve won the Australian Open, I’ve won Wimbledon – but she doesn’t.
“It’s always ‘we’ and the royal we is the whole team because she knows what it takes to get her on the court from everyone in the team.”