Sports Monks

Australian Open: Ashleigh Barty ‘happy with progression’ after Melbourne title

World number one Ashleigh Barty says she is “happy with the progression” of her tennis after warming up for the Australian Open by winning the Yarra Valley Classic.

The Australian had not played for 11 months because of the coronavirus pandemic but won four matches at the tune-up event in Melbourne.

Barty won 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in the final against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

Now she is aiming to become the first home champion at the major since 1978.

arty, 24, reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open last year and starts her latest bid on Tuesday when she plays Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.

When asked about her ambitions for the Grand Slam, Barty said: “I’ve done the preparation, I’ve eaten my Brussels sprouts, done everything to put myself in a position that I can go out there and perform at the best level I can.”

Belgium’s Elise Mertens secured her sixth career WTA title when she made light work of experienced Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-4 6-1 to win the Gippsland Trophy.

Estonian sixth seed Anett Kontaveit and Ann Li of the United States won their Grampians Trophy semi-finals – although they had to share the title.

The final was not played because of a delayed schedule after Thursday’s play being cancelled.

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