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  5. Australian Open 2021: Ashleigh Barty makes Grand Slam return with 6-0, 6-0 win

Australian Open 2021: Ashleigh Barty makes Grand Slam return with 6-0, 6-0 win

Barty lost in the semifinals of last year’s Australian Open to eventual champion Sofia Kenin, then skipped the French Open and U.S. Open because she stayed in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AP AP
Melbourne Published on: February 09, 2021 15:25 IST
Australia's Ashleigh Barty makes a forehand return to
Image Source : AP

Australia's Ashleigh Barty makes a forehand return to Montenegrin's Danke Kovinic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9

Top-ranked Ash Barty dominated in her first Grand Slam match in more than a year, dropping just 10 points in a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Danka Kovinic in the first round of the Australian Open.

Barty lost in the semifinals of last year’s Australian Open to eventual champion Sofia Kenin, then skipped the French Open and U.S. Open because she stayed in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before winning last week’s Yarra Valley Classic warm-up tournament, Barty hadn’t played a competitive match since last February.

Very little went wrong against Kovinic: Barty hit just five unforced errors (compared with 28 for Kovinic) and converted on six of eight breakpoint chances. The match lasted just 44 minutes.

Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, said after the match she missed tennis “every single day” during her long time away from the sport.

“The competitor in me missed what this is all about,” she said. “Coming out here and really enjoying the thrill of the fight.”

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