MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 23:19:37| >> :600:15076217:15076217:

Ashleigh Barty pleased with preparation for Australian Open

The world number one and home favourite goes into the Australian Open on the back of victory in the Yarra Valley Classic.

World number one Ashleigh Barty says she is happy with her preparation ahead of her bid to become the first home champion at the Australian Open in 43 years.

Barty had not played for 11 months due to the coronavirus pandemic but she still managed to win her warm-up event, the Yarra Valley Classic, by beating Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (3) 6-4.

"It's very different. I think the circumstances and the situation is extremely different," said Barty.

"I'm just trying to come out here and do the best that I can. I've done the preparation. I've eaten my Brussels sprouts, done everything to put myself in a position that I can go out there and perform at the best level I can.

Australia Tennis
Barty beat Garbine Muguruza at the Yarra Valley Classic (Andy Brownbill/AP)

"For me, I go into this Australian Open excited, well prepared, ready to play. Then we just see what happens come that first match. We focus on that first match, try to do the best that we can, then we go from there."

Barty kicks off her campaign against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic, who is ranked 77 in the world. She is joined by defending champion and fourth seed Sofia Kenin in the top half of the draw.

Britain's Johanna Konta faces 20-year-old Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan.

"I don't really know her and haven't quite discussed the game plan yet," she said.

"But everyone who is here deserves to be here because they are one of the best players in the world.

Australia Tennis
Konta lost a gruelling match to Irina-Camelia Begu (Andy Brownbill/AP)

"With that in mind I'm going to be coming up against a very tough opponent but it will be really nice to be out there competing."

Konta was defeated by Irina-Camelia Begu in a marathon match lasting three hours and 35 minutes at her warm-up event, the Gippsland Trophy.

"I've recovered quite well, it was my longest WTA match so far so I'm quite pleased with how I pulled up after that," she added.

"I was quite pleased with the level I played at, it was only my second match since October so I've got a lot to be pleased about."

Fellow Briton Heather Watson will meet Czech Kristyna Pliskova in the opening round.

Watson, who entertained herself – and fans – during hotel quarantine by posting videos on social media, said: "This has been the worst preparation I've ever had for a slam, which is obvious, but I tried to make the best of a bad situation.

"All I can do is go out there on Tuesday and give the best I have and be as positive as I can. I'm very happy to be here and to have the opportunity to play, especially in front of fans.

"The social media was something that brought out my creative side. That gave me something to do for an hour or so every day."

ID:434194: cacheID:434194:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:13293:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Rafael Nadal reacts after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals on November 19, 2020
Read Next:
Nadal still struggling with back injury ahead of Australian Open

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!