Top seed Ashleigh Barty gave the partisan home crowd a scare by losing the first set to Lesia Tsurenko but rectified the situation quickly to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Australian Open.
Barty is hoping to become the first Australian woman to win the singles title since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
The 23-year-old won her first title on home soil at the Adelaide International on Saturday, and she said: “It’s a tight turnaround. The start of the second set I sharpened up and did what I needed to do.
“This is probably the moment I’ve been looking forward to the most. I couldn’t wait to walk out on this beautiful court.”
“In the first set it was still in my control. I was just rushing points, trying to finish them too early.”
Barty must wait to find out her second round opponent after Polona Hercog and Rebecca Peterson had their match rained off on Monday.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki won her first round match in her last tournament, overcoming Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3.
“It’s always tricky,” Wozniacki said. “There’s a lot of just emotions but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.”
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