Playing for the first time in almost a year, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty made a resounding return on Tuesday to set up a Round-of-16 clash with Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova on Wednesday, February 3, with the match likely to begin at around 2:30 pm local time (4 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Ashleigh Barty v Marie Bouzkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ashleigh Barty v Marie Bouzkova Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between the World No. 1 and the World No. 52.
Barty Breezes Past Bogdan
Returning to the court in front of home fans, Ashleigh Barty showed no signs of rust as she defeated Romania’s Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Yarra Valley Classic on Tuesday.
Putting up a dominant show against the World No. 93, Barty struck 22 winners compared to her opponent’s 11, allowed just one break point, which she saved without much fuss, and converted 3 of 7 break points to clinch the one-sided contest in an hour and 17 minutes.
Playing for the first time since her semifinal defeat to Petra Kvitova in Doha last February, Barty never looked in trouble against the Romanian, as she served out 6 aces, won 84.4 percent first serve points and a total of 65 points (59.1 percent) in the match.
The 2019 French Open champion, who is looking to add to her eight WTA titles at Yarra Valley, also won the 2018 U.S. Open doubles title with CoCo Vandeweghe and has reached the doubles final of all the other three majors in the past.
With sights sets on the home slam, the 24-year-old Aussie will be hoping to keep getting better as the Yarra Valley tournament progresses.
In 2019, Barty had reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time in her career but her run was halted by arch-rival Kvitova. She got her revenge over the Czech player in the last eight of the tournament last year but was sent packing in the semis by eventual champion Sofia Kenin. Barty will be hoping for even better results this year.
Bouzkova Survives Bolsova Scare
Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova staved off a comeback bid from Spain’s Aliona Bolsova to win her Round-of-32 contest on Tuesday.
In a match that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes, the 16th seed Czech converted 5 of 6 break points and saved 2 of 4 to beat the 103rd-ranked player 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2.
This was the second win for the 22-year-old Bouzkova in the competition after she demolished Australian Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-0 in the first round on Sunday.
Bouzkova, who achieved a career-high ranking of 46 last year, made it to her first WTA final at the Monterrey Open in 2020, finishing runner-up to Elina Svitolina after a three-set affair.
Barty v Bouzkova Prediction and Tip
Barty meant business in the first round and she will only get better with the tournament. A straight sets win for her seems very likely again.
Tip: Barty to win in straight sets: 4/5 (bet365)