‘Best I have played so far’ – Ashleigh Barty overcomes early nerves to ease into Australian Open fourth round
Ashleigh Barty continued her quest to deliver a home winner of the Australian Open by beating Elena Rybakina on Friday.
The world number one is the only Australian left in the women’s draw, and appeared to be feeling the pressure early on.
Barty was broken in both of her first two service games of the match, however she replied by breaking straight back both times.
Once she found her rhythm, though, her extra class started to show, and she eased into the round four with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win.
“It was a very tough one,” the 23-year-old said. “I felt like I had to be switched on.
“Some of the games were long. It’s probably the best I played this summer so far.
“It’s nice to have another chance to come out and enjoy it. I’m loving every minute.”
Barty will face either Alison Riske or her doubles partner Julia Goerges for a place in he quarter-finals.
On potentially facing Gorges in the next round, Ashleigh Barty added: “Jules is great friend. She’s got extremely tough match.
“Hopefully we’ll play doubles tomorrow and enjoy that.”
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