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2020 Australian Open
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Ashleigh Barty vs Lesia Tsurenko
Top seed Ashleigh Barty will open her Australian Open campaign against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine on Rod Laver Arena. Join The Roar for all the action, including live scores and a blog of the match from 7pm (AEDT).
The ‘Barty Party’ will start the first night session of the tournament on centre court, a location Ash should become quite comfortable with this fortnight.
Barty found form at Memorial Drive and defeated Dayana Yastremska to claim the Adelaide International, her first singles title on home soil. In the final, Barty beat the Ukrainian 6-2, 7-5 with her versatile game in a confidence-boosting victory.
While the pressure is on the 23-year-old as the number one seed at her home Grand Slam, Barty appears to be taking it all in her stride, rarely showing frustration and focusing on enjoying her time on court.
In the first round, she faces Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko in a match the Australian will start as the clear favourite.
The 30-year-old has not played in a fortnight, after losing to Elise Mertens in the first round of the Shenzhen Open in China. Without the match practice to start 2020 it’ll be a big challenge for the right-hander coming up against the world no.1.
Tsurenko has four career singles titles to her name, and a career-high ranking of 23 last February.
The pair have played twice before, most recently in the first round of the 2018 Brisbane International, where Barty (no.17 at the time) was stunned in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Tsurenko.
They had previously met in qualifying for Acapulco in 2014, where a 17-year-old Barty beat Tsurenko 6-0, 6-2.
Now at no.120 in the world, Tsurenko will be aiming to challenge Barty by taking a set. It’s difficult to see the Aussie being troubled, particularly in front of her home crowd.
Barty’s slow start to the year after her incredibly successful season in 2019 has gained pace in the last week.
Out-smarting her opponents in Adelaide, the Australian will open her Australia Open campaign in great style on Rod Laver Arena.
Barty to win in straight sets.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 7pm (AEDT), and be sure to join the conversation below!
Start time: 7pm (AEDT)
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Odds: Barty $1.05, Tsurenko $8.00
Head-to-head: Barty 1-1 Tsurenko
Ranking: Barty 1, Tsurenko 120
Career titles: Barty 8, Tsurenko 1