Ash Barty dominates in first Tokyo Olympics match

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Storm Sanders and Ash Barty claimed an easy win in their first round doubles match in Tokyo.
Ash Barty and doubles partner Storm Sanders breezed through their first round match at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Ash Barty and doubles partner Storm Sanders completed a straight-sets demolition job on their first round opponents at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Aussie duo needed less than an hour to overcome Japanese pairing Makoto Ninomiya and Nao Hibino, sending a major warning shot to the rest of the competition.

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Barty is still waiting to face her first round opponent in the women's singles, but the atmosphere for both matches was a far cry from the wild scenes she enjoyed after winning Wimbledon earlier in the month.

Just nine people were there to see the doubles opener thanks to the ban on fans for the Tokyo Olympics, with Barty's coach Craig Tyzzer and Aussie tennis great Alicia Molik making up the numbers.

Molik remains Australia's only individual medal winner in tennis thanks to her Bronze medal effort in Athens 2004, while men's doubles greats Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge remain the only gold medal winners in tennis.

Barty represents a heavy favourite to win a medal in at least one, if not both tournaments thanks to her scorching form heading into the Olympics.

The 25-year-old has held the world No.1 spot in women's tennis since November 2019, with her Wimbeldon triumph only tightening her grip on the top spot.

The other Australia pairing, Sam Stosur and Ellen Perez, will play their first round match on Sunday against Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova and Jelena Ostapenko.

Ash Barty ready for first round singles showdown in Tokyo

Barty, who is looking to add Olympic gold to her two grand slam trophies, has a tough road through to the Tokyo final starting with the world No.48, Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Sorribes Tormo was a recent second round casualty at Wimbledon but proved a fighter, pushing former champion Angelique Kerber to three sets.

Barty and the 24-year-old Spaniard have never met before.

If the Australian star wins her first two matches she will meet Russian veteran Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, currently ranked 18 and the No.13 seed, in the third round at the Ariake Tennis Park.

With play getting underway on Saturday, second-seeded Naomi Osaka takes on 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China.

Representing hosts Japan, Osaka is playing her first match in nearly two months after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break.

Australia's five-time Olympian Samantha Stosur and debutante Ajla Tomljanovic have both been pitted against players from Kazakhstan in their opening-round singles matches.

Tomljanovic plays former world No.25 Yaroslava Shvedova, who recently returned to the tour after having twins, while Stosur meets world No.20 Elena Rybakina. 

With AAP

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