Ash Barty may be at her first tournament since March last year, but the Aussie is starting to build serious momentum ahead of the Australian Open after her victory over Czech Marie Bouzkova.
On Tuesday, Australia’s World No.1 sailed into the last 16 of the WTA Yarra Valley Classic beating Romania’s Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-3.
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And on Wednesday, she went up a gear in the first set to demolish Bouzkova 6-0 in a dominant all-round display.
Using her backhand slice to perfection, Bouzkova had no answers to Barty’s initial onslaught.
But in a twist, Bouzkova fought back and claimed the second 6-4 on the back of 13 unforced errors from Barty.
However, Barty showed her steel and took it up a gear before she ran out 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 in the third to march on to the quarter-final.
Fans on social media were quick to praise the World No.1 after she showed flashes of brilliance in first set to send a warning to the rest of the WTA ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
Barty praises return of tennis
After her second-round victory, Barty admitted it was hard sitting out the remainder of 2020 and watching the Grand Slams from afar.
But Barty said she was pleased to be back on court back at home after a long break.
“I wrestled with the decision for quite a while,” she said.
“But, for me, I had to prioritise. Not only for me first and foremost but also my team and my family, and I think it just shows how tough it can be.
“I feel for all you guys down here, what you've gone through in the last six, seven months down here in Victoria.
“So I'm extremely grateful to be here and I'm exceptionally proud to be an Aussie and just be on this beautiful court again.”
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