'That was brutal': Ash Barty stuns with 'ruthless' Aus Open act

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Pictured here, Ash Barty in her first round match at the 2022 Australian Open.
Ash Barty won her first round clash at the Australian Open in devastating fashion. Pic: AAP

Ash Barty has sent a chilling warning to her Australian Open rivals with a brutal first round demolition job on Monday night.

The World No.1 made an early statement by coolly thrashing Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-1 to cruise into the second round.

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In a ruthless performance on Rod Laver Arena, a steely-eyed Barty raced through the straight-sets victory in just 54 minutes to continue her perfect start to the year.

Australia's World No.1 opened the season with singles and doubles glory in Adelaide and stamped her Open favouritism once more on Monday night.

"It's certainly nice to be back on home soil and playing as well as I did tonight. It was a lot of fun out here," Barty said.

"I felt like it was nice and clean. End-to-end I did a good job in adjusting.

"There is quite a bit of wind at court level here so I thought I did a good job and some tough service games from down that end.

"Overall I felt like I was able to find my forehands, control the court with my forehand.

"Tonight it was just nice and solid to get out here and play a decent match and feel like I enjoyed it."

The Australian will play Lucia Bronzetti on Wednesday after the Italian qualifier beat Russia's Varvara Gracheva 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Tsurenko simply had no answers to the Aussie superstar's array of shot-making, with Barty mixing up her game superbly throughout the contest.

The 25-year-old Aussie was typically deadly with her serve and backhand slice, while Barty also fired plenty of forehand winners in a Monday night masterclass.

When Tsurenko finally got on the scoreboard in the penultimate game of the match, the Ukrainian underdog received sympathetic applause from the crowd.

But it was a fleeting moment for the qualifier as Barty's thoroughly dominant display left the tennis world in awe.

Earlier on day one, defending champion Naomi Osaka has eased into the second round with a straight sets win over spirited Colombian Camila Osorio.

The Japanese superstar delivered a mixed bag en route to a 6-3 6-3 win over the world No.50.

With her ranking slipping to No.14 after a tumultuous 2021, Osaka showed no signs of the abdominal injury that saw her withdraw from the semi-finals of a lead-up tournament 10 days ago.

"I thought I played really well given the circumstances," Osaka said in an on court interview.

"I didn't really have that much information on my opponent and I thought she played amazing.

"She was fighting for every point and I think that's a really good quality so I'm sure we'll see her on this court pretty frequently."

Seen here, Japan's Naomi Osaka hits a shot against Colombia's Camila Osorio at the Australian Open.
Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Colombia's Camila Osorio in a solid straight sets win in the first round of the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

Coco Gauff loses as other seeds march on

American teen sensation Coco Gauff was sent packing at Melbourne Park after suffering a shock straight sets defeat on the opening day.

The 18th seed had no answers to an inspired Wang Qiang as the 110th-ranked Chinese player sealed a 6-4 6-2 boilover on Margaret Court Arena.

Fifth seed Maria Sakkari and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic were the the first women's big guns through to the second round at Melbourne Park.

Sakkari was made to sweat against world No.287 Tatjana Maria before prevailing 6-4 7-6 (7-2) over the German on Monday.

Maria only gained entry to the season-opening grand slam on a special ranking after taking maternity leave last year following the birth of her second child.

But Sakkari, a semi-finalist at both the French Open and US Open last year, was mightily relieved to get past her.

Playing only her second event since contracting COVID-19 last month, Bencic showed no lingering effects in powering to a 6-4 6-3 victory over Kristina Mladenovic.

The one-time world No.3, seeded 22nd this year, opened her season with a run to the quarter-finals at last week's Sydney Tennis Classic and also shapes as a potential title threat if she can negotiate her way through the first week.

Bencic will face American Amanda Anisimova next on Wednesday and looms as a potential fourth-round road block to top-seeded Barty.

Other early winners on the opening day included 15th seed Elina Svitolina, who beat Fiona Ferro 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

with AAP

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