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World No.1 Ash Barty has surprised some after the Australian claimed she has never felt '100 per cent comfortable' on the hard court surface as she looks to start her campaign leading into the US Open.
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The Australian has been in good form this year after picking up her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, following her 2019 Roland Garros title, and took some time off to get ready for her US Open campaign.
But, the Australian has addressed her hard-court battles.
The World No.1's least favourite surface is undoubtedly hard-court.
Barty hasn't passed the Round of 16 at the US Open, while the 25-year-old fell at the Australian Open semi-final stage.
While enjoying some success on hard-court (which included the title at the Miami Open), Barty admitted she has never felt 100 per cent on the surface and in particular at the Cincinnati Open.
“This is a place where I’ve never quite felt 100 percent comfortable," she said.
"But we’ve got New York right around the corner.
"This period of the year is always an enjoyable one, I can’t wait to get started back into some matches again.”
Barty is aware it will take some time for her body to get accustomed to the surface after time between hard-court tournaments.
“Miami was my last hard court tournament, and the conditions there are vastly different from here. It’s going to take some time to adjust, without a doubt," she said.
But we’ll just keep chipping away and try and get the best chance in each and every match.”
Barty will take on Heather Watson of Great Britain in her first round match.
Ash Barty takes time off after Wimbledon and Olympics
Barty missed out on a medal in the singles and women's doubles, but managed to claim bronze with John Peers in the mixed doubles.
She will be looking to complete a stellar year with her second Grand Slam title.
But, Osaka is currently ranked World No.2 and is the owner of four major championships, all on hard courts, including this year's Australian Open.
Osaka is coming off a third-round loss at the Tokyo Olympics, where she had the honour of lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony.
Before that, the 23-year-old had not competed anywhere since withdrawing before her second-round match at the French Open, citing the need for a mental health break.
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