World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty lays down a marker as she breezes past Lesia Tsurenko in just 54 minutes to book her place in the second round of the Australian Open
- Ashleigh Barty raced through to the second round by thrashing Lesia Tsurenko
- The home favourite took just 54 minutes to wrap up victory, dropping one game
- She will take on qualifier Lucia Bronzetti in the next round of the tournament
Ashleigh Barty delighted the home crowd on the opening day of the Australian Open as she swatted aside Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-1 in less than an hour to move into the second round.
Tsurenko gave the Australian a stern test at the same stage of the tournament two years ago, but the World No. 1 had no such issues this time around.
In fact, Barty looked on course to seal her place in the last 64 without dropping a game when she raced into a 6-0 5-0 lead, before Tsurenko finally avoided the dreaded ‘double bagel’.
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty delivered a clinical display in front of her home fans on Monday
Lesia Tsurenko (above) had no answer for Barty’s power-hitting, and is out of the tournament
This was little consolation for the Ukrainian, though, as Barty went on to wrap up the win moments later.
In her post-match on-court interview, Barty admitted that she was happy to be back performing well on Rod Laver Arena.
‘This is beautiful – it has felt like it’s an eternity since I was back on this court,’ she said.
‘I am a proud indigenous woman and I love to celebrate my heritage. It’s what connects me me to all of you here and what connects me to the land.’
Barty thanked the crowd after beating Tsurenko in less than an hour on Rod Laver Arena
The 25-year-old dominated from start to finish, hitting 10 more winners than her opponent, and she will hope to build on her positive start in Melbourne when she takes on Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti in the next round.
Barty already has two Grand Slam titles to her name, having won the French Open in 2019, prior to triumphing at Wimbledon last year.
She is now aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open since Christine O’Neil in 1978.