World No.1 Ashleigh Barty demolished Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday to enter the third round of 2022 Australian Open. The 25-year-old Australian looks in great form as she dropped just one game in her opening round win against Top 30 player Lesia Tsurenko and she lost two to reach the third round. Barty defeated Bronzetti in just 52 minutes while she cruised past Tsurenko in 54 minutes. She hit 21 winners and eight aces en route to her victory in front of her home fans at the Rod Laver Arena.
“It was absolutely amazing.”
Barty brilliance 💪
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2022
Barty is aiming to become the first home champion since 1978. She and her opponent committed an equal number of unforced errors with 14 apiece, but Barty was too powerful for the Italian to handle.
World No.142 Bronzetti successfully qualified for her first Grand Slam draw by overcoming Nao Hibino before defeating Varvara Gracheva in the first round. However, she hit just six winners and was broken five times.
Barty will face another Italian, Camila Giorgi in the next round. The No. 30 seed sealed a 6-2, 7-6(2) win over Tereza Martincova to reach the third round in Australia for the third time in her career. She has never defeated Barty before and will have to write a new chapter in her career to go through to the fourth round.
Giorgi has an aggressive style of play and Barty is well aware of the challenges she is likely to face. Barty said after the match: “Some very different challenges to what I’ve had the last couple matches. She has the ability to hold baseline, to control the center of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return.
“It’s going to be a match where I’m going to have to serve well, bring in variety, make sure I can cover the court, neutralize the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realizing it’s happening.
“I think it’s going to be another match with some fresh challenges. But having played her before, she kind of knows my game, I kind of know hers. It’s about going out there and trying to do it as good as I can.”
Barty has a perfect record against Giorgi and, four years ago, in Melbourne, Barty secured a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 win in the second round match.
“I remember the matches that I’ve played against her. Not in great detail. I kind of know how they went. A lot of the time the match isn’t on my racquet, to be completely honest,” she added.
“I have to be able to neutralize and be aggressive when I can, but also be able to accept the fact that not always am I going to have it on my terms. That’s an important part of our matchup. I just get on with it and try to bring it back to my tennis as regularly as I can.”