He famously missed her maiden grand slam at the French Open but nothing was going to stop Garry Kissick from being on hand as Ash Barty lived a dream by claiming the Wimbledon championship.
The tennis star’s longtime boyfriend witnessed her 6-3 6-7 6-3 triumph over Karolina Pliskova from her player’s box – and Barty quickly climbed up to see him after her match.
As they were reunited she buried her head in his arms in an adorable moment that made tennis fans melt.
Barty later described her initial feeling after fulfilling a childhood ambition as disbelief.
“It was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced on a tennis court,” Barty said. “There was certainly disbelief. I’ve worked so hard my whole career with my team and with people that mean the most to me to try to achieve my goals and my dreams – and to be able to do that today was incredible.”
Ash Barty and Garry Kissick enjoy an intimate moment in front of the world. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Following the emotion she showed on court after match point and in the trophy presentation, Barty composed herself as she went upstairs for her meeting with the royal family.
After chatting with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, then fist bumping tennis royalty in Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, Barty handed her winner‘s plate to a Wimbledon official for safekeeping.
Commentators thought they were throwing to a break but the cameras kept following the 25-year-old as she reunited with her team.
While she looked to have recovered from the shock of achieving a childhood dream, Barty soon broke down again in the corridors of Wimbledon.
The Queenslander again buried her head in Kissick’s chest and sobbed, as he held his better half close. Those touching scenes continued for about 15 seconds, revealing just how much this title means to Barty.
Her team then revealed a big secret – the injury that had forced her to withdraw from this year’s French Open a few weeks ago was much worse than they’d told her and should have kept her sidelined for two months.
“Being able to play here at Wimbledon was nothing short of a miracle,” Barty revealed in her post-match press conference. “They kept a lot of cards close to their chest. It just proved how much we were against the odds.
“To be playing pain-free through this event was incredible. Certainly now chatting to them it looked a lot less likely than I felt. It’s been an incredible month.”
No wonder she was emotional.
Barty getting a comforting, warm hug from her longtime boyfriend as she breaks down in tears, perhaps feeling the moment and perhaps those are tears of relief, that her job is done.
#Wimbledon YES #Barty what a final! Don’t know why but I’m in tears after she hugged her team especially her boyfriend! Very well deserved! I’m now a new massive fan 👏🏻💖
Who is Garry Kissick?
Barty has, for the most part, kept her relationship with Kissick relatively quiet.
The 25-year-old tennis sensation sporadically shares photos of the couple on social media, and they occasionally make appearances together at black-tie events.
But unlike many of her sporting comrades, very little is known about the world No. 1’s boyfriend.
Kissick is an aspiring professional golfer, and works as the irrigation technician for the greens at the Brookwater Golf & Country Club in Brisbane.
The 29-year-old is a passionate Liverpool supporter and part of the PGA Trainee program.
Barty and Kissick met at the Brookwater Golf Club in 2016 — the tennis star had visited the venue to play a round of golf.
Barty and Kissick enjoy a lighter moment together at Wimbledon a couple of years ago. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The sporting duo immediately clicked, and went public with their relationship in 2017 when they appeared alongside each other at the John Newcombe Awards.
Kissick has also served as Barty’s unofficial ball boy, helping out on the court however he can.
“They’re really the most normal couple you’ll find at that level in tennis,” a friend told Woman’s Day in 2019.
“It’s refreshing because you often see mismatched liaisons in this sport.
The only man inside the Wimbledon Centre court without a collared shirt on is Ash Barty’s boyfriend, just when this moment couldn’t get any better. Remember where you were, tell your kids you saw it. Amazing – GO ASH! #Wimbledon2021 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺
I love that Barty's boyfriend looks like a typical Aussie couch potato. Legend!
“It’s funny to watch Ash practising at the big tournaments with her coach and see Garry pop up as the ball boy.
He’ll skip back and forth, helping out between their rallies, encouraging her by passing on cricket scores or cracking jokes.
“Without even meaning to, Garry helps Ash play her very best tennis, because there’s certainly no pressure from him.”
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