Australian Open 2021: Ash Barty to take on Danka Kovinic in first round

Ash Barty will launch her Australian Open assault towards world No.77 Danka Kovinic whereas the draw hasn’t been overly sort to Australia’s main males’s hopes.

Girls’s prime seed for the second yr working, Barty may face compatriot Daria Gavrilova in the second round at Melbourne Park.

If she makes the second week, as she has executed the previous two years, world No.1 Barty’s first large take a look at is probably going to come towards sixteenth seed Petra Martic in the fourth round.

Former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova or eleventh seed Belinda Bencic could possibly be lurking in the quarter-finals, with defending champion Sofia Kenin looming because the projected semi-final opponent for Barty.

Australia's Ash Barty has reached the second week of the Australian Open the past two years.
Digital camera IconAustralia’s Ash Barty has reached the second week of the Australian Open the previous two years. Credit score: Andy Brownbill/AP

Kenin ended Barty’s marketing campaign on the identical stage final yr after the Queenslander turned the first native lady since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 to attain the Open semi-finals.

Different heavyweights in Barty’s half of the draw embrace two-time Open champion Victoria Azarenka and fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

Australian males’s No.1 Alex de Minaur will begin towards twin quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren and has landed in the identical part of the draw as second-seeded world No.2 Rafael Nadal.

A again situation that has pressured Nadal out of Spain’s two ATP Cup matches this week has the 20-times grand slam winner underneath a severe health cloud.

But when he recovers, Nadal looms as a significant fourth-round highway block for de Minaur, the twenty first seed.

Nick Kyrgios performs qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva first and will strike third-seeded US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the third round.

A former quarter-finalist who misplaced to Nadal in the fourth round final yr, Kyrgios is unseeded after skipping many of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

De Minaur and Kyrgios lead a 13-strong native problem in the lads’s singles.

Fellow grand slam quarter-finaist John Millman opens towards rising Frenchman Corentin Moutet, whereas Bernard Tomic performs Japan’s Yuichi Sugita after efficiently qualifying for his eleventh Open tilt.

Veteran Samantha Stosur, making her nineteenth and doubtlessly final Open after changing into a mom final yr, faces Destanee Aiava in an all-Australian affair.

Males’s world No.1 Novak Djokovic begins his quest for a ninth Open crown towards Jeremy Chardy, whereas celebrity Serena Williams performs Laura Siegemund in her bid for an elusive twenty fourth profession main, which might match Margaret Courtroom’s all-time file.

Friday’s draw was delayed by a day after a employee at one of many match quarantine resort’s examined optimistic for COVID-19, forcing greater than 500 gamers and employees to bear checks.

They’ve all since examined destructive, offering big aid for Open boss Craig Tiley.

Girls’s singles, first round

1-Ash Barty v Danke Kovinic (MNE)

Ajla Tomljanovic v Misaki Doi (JPN)

Samantha Stosur v Destanee Aiava

Daria Gavrilova v Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)

Astra Sharma v Nao Hibino (JPN)

Maddison Inglis v 4-Sofia Kenin (USA)

Lizette Cabrera v 2-Simona Halep (ROM)

Arina Rodionova v Madison Brengle (USA)

Kimberly Birrell v Rebecca Marino (CAN)

Males’s singles, first round

21-Alex de Minaur v Tennys Sandgren (USA)

Nick Kyrgios v Frederico Ferreira Silva (POR)

John Millman v Corentin Moutet (FRA)

Bernard Tomic v Yuichi Sugita (JPN)

Jordan Thompson v 24-Casper Ruud (NOR)

James Duckworth v Damir Dzumhur (BIH)

Chris O’Connell v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

Alexei Popyrin v 13-David Goffin (BEL)

Thanasi Kokkinakis v Sonwoo Kwon (Kor)

Alex Bolt v Norbert Gombos (SVK)

Marc Polmans v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)

Aleksandar Vukic v 19-Karen Khachanov (RUS)

Li Tu v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)