World number one Ash Barty faces the Russian challenge Ekaterina Alexandrova, the 29th seed in the third round of the 2021 Australian Open on Saturday, February 13, with the match likely to begin at around 11 am local time (12 noon BST or 7 pm Eastern Time previous day). Get the live streaming options of this Ash Barty v Ekaterina Alexandrova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ash Barty v Ekaterina Alexandrova Head to Head
This will be the very first meeting between the top seeded Barty and the world number 32 Alexandrova.
Barty Recovers after a Late Stumble
It looked to be one-way traffic in Barty’s direction but fellow Aussie Daria Gavrilova showed excellent fight in pushing the second set into a tie-breaker and then getting herself two set-points before the world number finished off in straight sets.
In both the sets, Barty suffered early breaks of serves but eased her way back to get herself into a winning position. The first set saw her grab it 6-1, reeling off six games in a row after dropping the first game on serve and in the second she was down 0-2 before winning five in a row to take herself close to the win.
Unfortunately for her, Gavrilova wasn’t done yet as she broke back twice to force a tie-breaker with Barty blaming the swing of fortunes on her own poor tactics. Even in the tie-breaker, Barty led 4-3, but lost momentum to give her opponent a set-point which she saved before doing the same a point later. In the end Barty won the tie-breaker 9-7, off her first match-point.
She now takes on the Gippsland Trophy semifinalist Alexandrova for a place in the fourth round.
Alexandrova’s Solid Start Continues
Having seen a career-best of 25th in the world, Alexandrova did slip a few spots down to 32nd but her performances this season should give her ample confidence going into the rest of the season, not to mention in a match against the top seeded Barty.
After having disposed off Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the first round win, it was a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Barbora Krejcikova in the second, needing an hour and 51 minutes to get there.
The match started on a strong note for the Russian, as she raced off to a 3-0 lead with a break of serve and while wasted three more break-points, Alexandrova wasn’t quite challenged on her own serve, closing it out 6-3.
Things got interesting in the second as the set went on serve till 5-5 when Krejcikova dropped hers to give the Russian a chance to serve for the match. Three break-points later, the Czech had levelled things out to take it to a tie-breaker but her fight ended there as Alexandrova won three points in a row from 4-4 to complete the win.
Barty v Alexandrova Prediction and Tip
Despite Barty’s less than clinical performance in the previous round, she still starts a favourite to comfortably win this. There is always that worry around that fitness having come back after being away from the game for that long and played half a dozen matches in less than 10 days to go with her strapped thigh but she should still go through.
Tip: Barty to win in straight sets: 8/11 (bet365)