Teenage Great Dane relishing Barty battle

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With a beaming smile and big ambitions, teenage prodigy Clara Tauson says facing world No.1 and her self-confessed idol Ash Barty in the US Open second round is a dream come true.

Inspired by Caroline Wozniacki and hoping to become the next Great Dane, Tauson has taken women's tennis by storm.

The 2019 Australian Open girls' champion and Denmark's first-ever world junior No.1 has shot up the rankings in a seamless transition to the professional ranks.

Tauson announced her grand-slam arrival with a thunderous debut win over 2021 Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady at Roland Garros last year before lifting her maiden WTA title in Lyon in March.

Now the 18-year-old will live out a fantasy when she takes on Barty at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.

"That is completely the match of my dreams," Tauson said.

"For fun I have told my coach through the last four weeks that I would meet her this time in the US so I am very happy about that match-up and hopefully we will get one of the biggest courts."

How about in New York and on the biggest court in world tennis?

Tauson truly can't wait - and gives herself a shot of shocking the top-seeded Wimbledon champion and Open title favourite.

"She really is one of my role models, so it is very exciting," the aggressive baseliner said.

"I feel that, when I'm at my top level, I can play with most of them.

"I am looking positively forward to the match, even if it is not always nice to meet someone you are likely to get beaten by.

"I hope that we can produce a good match and then we will have to see about the result."

Barty is on guard against an ambush from the world No.78, admitting she and coach Craig Tyzzer needed to study up on the exciting youngster.

"I haven't seen a lot of her. That's a little bit of homework for 'Tyzz' and I to go to the drawing board and see what she can offer," Barty said.

"I know that this is perhaps her first year on tour. If not, she played a little bit late last year.

"We have to have a look and go in with a clear game plan and then try and execute for us, even though we haven't seen her play or come up against her or hit with her.

"That doesn't change our planning and preparation going into it."

A ninth-straight grand-slam win for Barty would thrust the Australian into a third-round contest on Sunday with American Shelby Rogers or Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

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