Australian Open 2021: World no.1 Ash Barty gets good draw as men presented a challenge

Ash Barty will launch her Australian Open assault in opposition to world No.77 Danke Kovinic whereas the draw hasn’t been overly type to Australia’s main men’s hopes.

Ladies’s high seed for the second yr working, Barty may face compatriot Daria Gavrilova within the second spherical at Melbourne Park.

If she makes the second week, as she has finished the previous two years, world No.1 Barty’s first huge take a look at is more likely to come in opposition to sixteenth seed Petra Martic within the fourth spherical.

Former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova or eleventh seed Belinda Bencic may very well be lurking within the quarter-finals, with defending champion Sofia Kenin looming as the projected semi-final opponent for Barty.

Australia's Ash Barty has reached the second week of the Australian Open the past two years.
Digicam 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 primary native lady since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 to succeed in 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 men’s No.1 Alex de Minaur will begin in opposition to 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 concern that has compelled Nadal out of Spain’s two ATP Cup matches this week has the 20-times grand slam winner below a critical health cloud.

But when he recovers, Nadal looms as a main 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 within the third spherical.

A former quarter-finalist who misplaced to Nadal within the fourth spherical 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 challenge within the men’s singles.

Fellow grand slam quarter-finaist John Millman opens in opposition to 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 probably final Open after turning into a mom final yr, faces Destanee Aiava in an all-Australian affair.

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

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

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

Ladies’s singles, first spherical

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)

Men’s singles, first spherical

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)