Barty makes winning return in Melbourne

Wednesday, 3 February 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MELBOURNE (Reuters): World number one Ash Barty marked her return to competitive tennis after almost a year out with a 6-3 6-3 win over Romania’s Ana Bogdan in the second round of Yarra Valley Classic yesterday.

The 24-year-old Australian had not played a competitive match since last February due to the COVID-19 pandemic, opting to skip the US Open and not defend her title at the rescheduled French Open in September.

Barty went down narrowly to world number two Simona Halep in last week’s exhibition event in Adelaide but was back to winning ways yesterday, facing a single breakpoint on her serve in the match.

“I had so much fun out here today, and I think I missed you guys so much as well,” Barty, who had a bye in the opening round, told the handful of fans present at Melbourne Park’s Margaret Court Arena.

“This is one of my favourite places to play in the entire world, and for me to be able to come back after 11 or 12 months off now- it’s been a while, but I miss this feeling, I miss coming out here and competing.”

Top seed Barty hit her sixth ace of the match to convert her fourth match point and will next meet Czech Marie Bouzkova.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin had won the opening set 7-5 when Italian Camila Giorgi retired from their second-round clash with a left thigh injury.


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