Ranked Barty wins first title in the house ahead of Aussie Open

Tanya Simon
January 20, 2020

"I haven't changed, it hasn't changed me as a person so it shouldn't change me as a tennis player", she said. "That is all I can ask of me".

"I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm coming into the first Grand Slam of the year with a smile on my face", she said.

The Queenslander then hit the front early in the deciding set after breaking Tsurenko and was never troubled, eventually going on to record a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win to book her place in the second round of the Australian Open.

Barty, under huge pressure to deliver a home women's champion for the first time since Chris O'Neil in 1978, plays Polona Hercog of Slovenia or Sweden's Rebecca Peterson next.

While the Adelaide International victory was anything but straightforward it would have battle-hardened Barty for this Australian Open where she will have to endure matches like these.

Barty has since surged to the top of women's tennis, winning her maiden Grand Slam a year ago at Roland Garros and carrying Australia's tennis hopes.

"It turned to be third time lucky, I suppose".

The French Open champion had reached finals in Australia before, finishing runner-up twice at the Sydney International after losses to Angelique Kerber in 2018 and to Petra Kvitova a year ago. Rubber lost last year in Perth and first in Brisbane this year.

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Barty came into the match looking to go one better than her previous two years where she fell agonisingly short of the breakthrough title.

"It's a long way, long way away", she said. "Any experience I have had in the past 12 months will hopefully help me tomorrow night".

Top seeded and Aussie Ash Barty will take on Lesia Tsurenko in their first round match at the Australian Open 2020 on Monday, January 20. She can't hide anywhere now.

"I don't know how I've done this", Rublev said of his back-to-back double.

"I think that's the love and that's the comfort that you need, and it's just so happened that we have had some incredible results and have been riding on this kind of incredible journey with my professional team, who are also my family".

"Once I was able to get my physicality into it, I felt a lot more comfortable and I think I was able to look after my service games a little better, and not get behind in the set which was important".

Jake Michaels is a Melbourne-based multi-sport journalist who covers everything from AFL to Formula 1.

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