Ashleigh Barty steamrolls opener at Australian Open

By Field Level Media
Sep 1, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a backhand against Qiang Wang of China (not pictured) in the fourth round on day seven of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty got off to a roaring start at the Australian Open on Tuesday in Melbourne, routing Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic 6-0, 6-0 in just 44 minutes of action.

The 24-year-old Australian won the first 16 points and lost just 10 in the entire match as she posted the third Tour-level double bagel of her career.

“I’m not thinking about the double bagel at all until the end of the match and we have shaken hands,” said Barty.

“I wanted to go out there and almost take the sting, take the pepper out of the match a little bit and get it on my terms as much as possible right from the get-go, and make it feel like she had a real mountain to climb.”

It’s the first time Kovinic, 26, has failed to win a single game in a match.

Barty, who is coming in off her ninth career title at the Yarra Valley Classic, next faces compatriot Daria Gavrilova.

Gavrilova beat Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-5 to advance.

Also winning swiftly on Tuesday, was No. 6 seed Karolina Pliskova — one of five Czech women to reach the second round.

Pliskova needed just 47 minutes to beat Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-0, 6-2, reeling off six aces in the victory.

“I always prefer to have a match like this, no matter the score,” said Pliskova. “It’s not my goal to win easy, but my goal is to play well and to play the way I played today.”

The day’s biggest upset came at the hands of American Jessica Pegula, who stunned No. 12 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 6-4.

Other seeded winners included No. 4 Sofia Kenin of the U.S., No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, No. 11 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, No. 21 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, No. 22 Jennifer Brady of the U.S., No. 25 Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, No. 26 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan and No. 28 Donna Vekic of Croatia.

Seeded players to fall included No. 13 Johanna Konta of Great Britain and No. 16 Petra Martic of Croatia.

–Field Level Media