Ashleigh Barty at Australian Open after win

Ashleigh Barty overcomes pressure of expectations to make winning start to Australian Open

Ashleigh Barty survived a scare but overcame the pressure of an expectant home crowd to win in the Australian Open first round.

The world number one has understandably generated a lot of excitement in Australia ahead of the tournament – so much so that Barty says she was ‘getting sick of seeing her own face’ around Melbourne.

And that pressure appeared to be getting to her as she lost the first set to Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, but she gathered herself to dominate thereafter before wining through 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

“It’s all good, it’s amazing to be back out here,” Barty said on the court after the match. “I couldn’t wait to walk out here.

“Really nice to sort it out a little bit at the start of the second set and sharpen up.

“In the first set it was still in my control. I was just rushing points, trying to finish them too early.”

Ashleigh Barty will face either Polona Hercog and Rebecca Peterson in round two, with their match one of many to fall victim to the rain on the opening day of the tournament.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.