What time is Ash Barty’s first Australian Open match?
Ash Barty is in action tonight for the first time this Australian Open.
Here’s everything you need to know about the local’s round one clash at Melbourne Park.
WHO IS SHE PLAYING AND WHAT TIME IS IT ON?
Barty is playing world No. 82 Danka Kovinic, from Montenegro, on Rod Laver Arena at 7pm AEDT.
HOW CAN I WATCH?
The match will be broadcast live on Channel 9. You can also live stream the match on the Nine Now app.
WHO IS THE FAVOURITE?
Barty is the top seed and world No. 1, so will be expected to make light work of Kovinic.
WHY WILL BARTY WIN?
Despite an unusual build-up to the year’s first grand slam, Barty has hit the ground running in 2021.
Being able to train at home helped set her up for an impressive run at the Yarra Valley Classic last week, where she defeated Garbine Muguruza in the final.
If she maintains the form she showed in that warm-up tournament, then Barty should cruise into the second round.
HOW HAS ASH BEEN AFFECTED BY COVID?
Barty sat out all of last year once the pandemic erupted, choosing to remain in Queensland even when the WTA Tour restarted.
She made the agonising decision not to defend the French Open crown she won in 2019, and will be desperate to add another grand slam title — and her first Australian Open — to her trophy cabinet.
While she’s short of competitive match practice, Barty will at least be well rested and mentally refreshed. She has the added advantage of preparing for the tournament as normal, because she didn’t have to quarantine for 14 days like her international rivals, so that should mean her body is in tip top shape.
Barty is eyeing off the Australian Open trophy.Source:Getty Images
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