Ash Barty’s first tennis match in 11 months didn’t fairly go to plan, however there have been loads of constructive indicators forward of her history-chasing Australian Open marketing campaign subsequent month.
Barty suffered a slender defeat to world No. 2 Simona Halep on the Day on the Drive exhibition occasion in Adelaide on Friday, taking place in a brilliant tie-break after the pair traded the primary two units.
The match, which completed 3-6 6-1 (10-8) to Halep, was performed in entrance of 4,000 followers – a scene which had tennis fans around the world in envy of Australia.
Barty confirmed little indicators of rust regardless of the World No. 1 having missed virtually the whole lot of final season over coronavirus considerations.
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And the Australian was completely beaming regardless of the defeat.
“It’s completely improbable to be again. I genuinely missed this a lot,” Barty mentioned.
“I’ve been getting a bit bit impatient the final two or three months, on the brink of play.
“And I’m so excited to get began subsequent week. It was the right preparation.”
The 24-year-old was fortunate to keep away from the resort quarantine that had annoyed the preparations so lots of her rivals, together with Halep.
However Barty’s rival was all class after the match, graciously saying: “Ash doesn’t appear to be she didn’t play final yr, so properly carried out.”
Barty is searching for to change into the primary Australian lady to win the Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Whereas she acknowledged she’s bought some strategy to go to hit high kind, she couldn’t disguise a smile after her long-awaited return to motion.
She mentioned: “There’s a bit little bit of execution, in fact, that we’d prefer to get proper, however I simply loved it a lot. I believe that’s an important factor.”
Barty will now cross the border to Victoria to compete within the Yarra Valley Basic at Melbourne Park, earlier than the Australian Open kicks off on February 8.