Ashleigh Barty headlines the Aussie assault on day two in Melbourne.
Ashleigh Barty headlines the Aussie assault on day two in Melbourne.

Ashleigh Barty out to join Aussie Open party

SEEDED for the first time at a grand slam, Ashleigh Barty is vowing to embrace the added hometown pressure when she begins her Australian Open campaign.

The Aussie No.1 is the last match on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, taking on Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

While fragile veteran Samantha Stosur crumbled to her third successive first-round loss at her home grand slam, Barty is hopeful she can use the crowd to her advantage.

"There's nothing better than walking out onto an Australian Open court with the crowd behind you," the world No.17 said.

"I'd certainly love to play my best tennis and have my best run in a grand slam here, so fingers crossed I can band it all together and play well this week."

Ashleigh Barty headlines the Aussie assault on day two in Melbourne.
Ashleigh Barty headlines the Aussie assault on day two in Melbourne.

Other Australians in action on day two include Destanee Aiava up against world No.1 Simona Halep and fellow teen Alex de Minaur taking on Czech 19th seed Tomas Berdych.

De Minaur is fresh off his shock run to the Sydney International final and not without hope against the former Wimbledon finalist.

Thanasi Kokkinakis will play de Minaur's Sydney conqueror, exciting Russian Daniil Medvedev, while Ajla Tomljanovic has a first-round match-up with Czech veteran Lucie Safarova.

Five Australians are already through to round two after wins on Monday for Nick Kyrgios, Matthew Ebden, John Millman, Daria Gavrilova and Olivia Rogowska.

Alex De Minaur faces a tough first round assignment.
Alex De Minaur faces a tough first round assignment.

 

Aussies in action

Women's singles, first round: 18-Ashleigh Barty v Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) Ajla Tomljanovic v 29-Lucie Safarova (CZE) Destanee Aiava v 1-Simona Halep (ROM) Lizette Cabrera v Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA). Men's singles, first round: Jordan Thompson v Nicolas Kicker (ARG) Alex de Minaur v 19-Tomas Berdych (CZE) Thanasi Kokkinakis v Daniil Medvedev (RUS) Alexei Popyrin v Tim Smyczek (USA)


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