World No 1 Ashleigh Barty refused to blame the 10-minute MTO (medical time-out) taken by Karolina Muchova for her shock defeat at the Australian Open. Muchova overcame a set and break deficit to beat Barty 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to enter her first Grand Slam semifinal.
With Barty 6-1, 2-1 in lead, Muchova called for a doctor on court. After checking her pulse the doctor opted for an off-court medical break and treated her for almost ten minutes. There are questions swirling over whether Muchova’s timely break was in the spirit of the game.
In the post-match interview, the Czech player admitted being ‘lost on court’ when she called for the medical time out.
“I was a bit lost on the court and my head was spinning so I took a break. It helped me,” Muchova said in her on-court interview.
“No, it was more they just checked my (blood) pressure because I was a bit lost. I was spinning. So they cooled me down a bit with ice and it helped me.”
It was a very hot day in Melbourne and Muchova seemed to struggle with it in the beginning.
“It (the heat) got to me. I was feeling kind of dizzy at some point, like really, really lost and almost fainting. So, yeah, I just asked for help,” the 24-year-old said.
Barty was repeatedly asked about the issue in her post-match press conference but refused to make any excuses.
“It’s within the rules. She’s within her rights to take that time. If she wasn’t within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so,” the Australian said.
“That’s the laws of our game, is that we have those medical timeouts for cases that are needed. Obviously she needed that today. Completely within the rules for her to take that.
“From my point of view, I’ve played a lot of matches where there have been medical timeouts. I’ve taken medical timeouts myself before, so that shouldn’t be a massive turning point in the match.
“I was disappointed that I let that become a turning point. I’m experienced enough now to be able to deal with that. It’s a disappointment today without a doubt. But we learn and we move on.”
Muchova, seeded 25, will take on America’s Jennifer Brady in the final four. Brady defeated Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to make her first Grand Slam semifinals.