Ash Barty downplayed the effects of a controversial medical break in her loss to Karolina Muchova at the Australian Open on Wednesday

The world no.1 shocking turnaround has divided tennis experts and fans, and the controversial rules are quickly coming under fire

However, others believe that Barty’s lack of action during the coronavirus pandemic simply caught up with them in the most intense match of their Grand Slam

Barty surrendered before a set and a breakup after World No. 27 Muchova took a tactical medical break at the beginning of the second set

“I was a bit lost on the pitch and my head was spinning, so I took a break and it helped me,” Muchova said after the game

“At the end of the first sentence I felt a bit lost. Ash started very well. She played like no mistakes. It was very difficult”

Barty never recovered after being forced into the 10-minute delay, suspended on resumption, and losing nine out of eleven games from the end of the second set to the end of the game

But the Queenslander refused to bite when he pressed Muchova, who took the time out and then turned the match upside down

“If she hadn’t followed the rules, the physiotherapists and doctors would have said so,” Barty

said

“Those are the laws of our game, that we have this medical time out for cases that are needed. Obviously she needed that today

“I’ve played a lot of games that have involved medical time off. I’ve taken medical time off myself so this shouldn’t be a massive turning point in the game,” she said

“I was disappointed that I turned this into a tipping point. I have enough experience to deal with it now, but it’s undoubtedly a disappointment today”

Muchova confirmed that she was not injured, just had her blood pressure checked before she was given some ice to cool down

Barty’s close friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua called the tactic “legally okay but ethically icky,” while the great tennis player Pam Shriver was disturbed by the aftermath

“(It) seemed legitimate, but it still doesn’t sit well when it turns a match down to a dime,” said the American Shriver

Muchova has been labeled a cheater by some fans, but just as many noted that the 24-year-old wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to benefit as long as the time-out rule remains in place

“I don’t absolutely blame them for the ridiculous rule that allows this,” said the former world No. 4 successful coach Brad Gilbert said

Celebrity commentator and ex-player Sam Smith said Barty was completely unprepared to deal with the break in play

“It really divided the match, divided by that 10-minute medical break, it would never have come up in the planning meeting, the strategy meetings,” said Smith

“I’m telling you if I ever have a bad day I’ll call this WTA coach to help out miracle workers”

Even former NBA player Jason Collins got involved and shared his point of view as a professional athlete and tennis fan

“(Medical time-outs were) part of the sport As a competitor you have to prepare yourself mentally for every kind of art of your opponent,” he wrote

“For example – we all know that if you go up against Novak (Djokovic) early on, you should prepare for an MTO or racket punches or long conversations with him & the chair (referee) ”

Barty admitted that it was impossible for her to turn the tide when Muchova forced her announced opponent into an informal mistake after a casual mistake

“I probably had small windows of time in the middle of the second set and couldn’t regroup enough to make it clear how I wanted to play in the third set,” said Barty

“I think I got a little lost which is no doubt disappointing. I felt like I was in control of the game, I knew how to go about it and just got lost”

The defeat makes the Australian Open wait 41 years until a woman from the region reaches the final

“But will it put me off? Will it ruin the fact that we had a really successful start to the season? Absolutely not. The sun will rise tomorrow. We go back to our work

“You either win or you learn Today is a tremendous learning curve for me, including Tyz (coach Craig Tyzzer), my team

“We are undoubtedly taking the positives and not letting this special game, this special hour of tennis stop us from what we’re trying to do””

Muchova will return Thursday to battle for a place in the championship game against Jennifer Brady, who beat American colleague Jessica Pegula with a 4-6-6-2-1 triumph

The winner of the Muchova-Brady semi-final is facing the most difficult task in the final on Saturday evening against Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams

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Source: https://7news.com.au/sport/tennis/ash-barty-responds-as-blame-game-erupts-over-gamesmanship-storm-c-2182427