WTA Adelaide: Ashleigh Barty "looking forward" to challenge at Australian Open
Photo: Brenton Edwards/AFP

World number one Ashleigh Barty is the Adelaide International champion and now looks ahead to the Australian Open, where she is the top seed, the first time an Aussie woman has arrived in Melbourne as the top player in the world in the Open era.

Barty is guaranteed to remain as the top-ranked player in the world after the Australian Open regardless of her result in Melbourne/Photo: Brenton Edwards/AFP
Barty is guaranteed to remain as the top-ranked player in the world after the Australian Open regardless of her result in Melbourne/Photo: Brenton Edwards/AFP

Barty readying for Melbourne, experience of playing in home major with heighetened expectations

After defeating Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 7-5 in Saturday's championship match to become the first woman to lift a trophy at home since Jarmila Wolfe in Hobart in 2011, Barty said "third time lucky, I suppose, isn't it? the best part about this week is I fought and scrapped my way through.

"I got better and better in each situation, in each match. I just put myself in the position to play for another title, which is really exciting. It's been incredible to play at home. Yeah, a really, really special week."

The Aussie will open up the night session on Rod Laver Arena against world number 120 Lesia Tsurenko and she is eagerly anticipating the upcoming fortnight: "it's been a great preparation this week. it's been a great two weeks of preparation (Barty also played last week in Brisbane). I know that we play Monday night, so look forward to playing on Rod Laver Arena on Monday night.

"It's going to be exciting and a fresh tournament, as well. I have to start with my clean slate for the Australian Open. Looking forward to that first round."

The Queenslander knows what kind of media attention she will face as the top-ranked player in the world at her home major, but is not planning to change anything that has led her to the success she has achieved so far.

"I think I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy what next week will bring, regardless of the number next to my name", Barty said. "I think it's a brilliant event to be a part of. You only get to play so many Australian opens, so I think for me its about enjoying the competition and the challenge on focusing what I can do.

"I think there is not really much else I have to worry about in that regard. If it's a first round, if it's a final, if it's anything in between, it's still an amazing experience. I think I just have to go out there and enjoy it."

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