“Perspective is a beautiful thing, life is a beautiful thing,” she said when asked about the baby. “She brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court.
“I got to give her a hug, and it’s all good. It’s all good.”
While many were touched by the gesture, some slammed it as “inappropriate” behaviour for the workplace.
“I don’t think the baby should have been in there,” BBC tennis commentator David Law said on The Tennis Podcast. “I think it is a place of work. It’s an office space. We are there to ask questions and, as lovely a sight as it was, on one hand, it’s not really what’s supposed to go on.”
In the same interview, tennis analyst Matt Roberts added that it felt like a “deflection” to fend off tough questions about the disappointing result. Sports broadcaster Catherine Whitaker agreed, joking the baby was a basically a “human shield.”
Many of Barty’s fans took to Twitter to hit back at what they considered an unfair attack.
“These people are clueless. Barty has always been calm and collected no matter what kind of question you throw at her,” one read.
“LOLing at the male reporters who say she held the baby to avoid answering tough questions,” another added.
“If a baby stops you asking Qs that says more about your bias & journalist skills than anything,” said a third.
Questionable commentary aside, the trio all agreed that it was unlikely Barty brought the family member in to intentionally avoid a grilling.
“I don’t necessarily think it has to be a conscious thought and I think she can have had that thought process in a less sinister way than perhaps we would see it,” Whitaker said.
“She just thinks, ‘This is a distraction for me’ — but the thing is, it’s also a distraction for everybody else and not very helpful.
“It’s not appropriate in the workplace. I don’t think that makes her a terrible person for doing it — somebody should have stopped her doing it, probably.
“I don’t know what the circumstances are but it was really weird.”