Put the 24-year cast friendship aside to beat her Fed Cup teammate 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) in an hour and 32 minutes, but Barty seemed to have lost focus on the verge of victory in the all-Australian affair

Barty, who played under humid conditions in the Rod Laver Arena, unexpectedly slumped 5-2 in the second set, dropped the serve twice and had to save two set points in the tiebreaker before he finally advanced to the third round

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The 2019 French Open champion was unimpressed by the stutter after she only resumed warming up the Yarra Valley Classic – which she won – after spending nearly a year at home during the pandemic

“I haven’t played a lot of tennis in the last 12 months,” she said. “Obviously there will be ups and downs not only in concentration but also in the game

“It’s important that you can bring this back as often as you can. I was unable to do this for a few games”

Barty’s left thigh was heavily buckled, but it seemed to be moving with ease against Gavrilova in 387th, a wildcard contestant

“The bandage is very big, but that’s more of a support so that the band itself doesn’t fall off,” she said

“It’s not a very subtle band job – you see it a lot on a lot of girls. The guys can hide it a little better under their shorts

“It’s just a little bit of support I’ve played a lot of games in the past 10 days after not playing for 12 months, which is natural but it’s more of a help than anything”

Barty admitted the problem had surfaced on Tuesday while warming up, but insisted she had no concerns in court

“It doesn’t affect how I can play,” she said, “It’s just left with giving the leg some support to make sure it doesn’t get to a point where it will affect me”

After the 2019 French Open champion had played almost flawlessly in the first round 6-0 and 6-0 against Danka Kovinic from Montenegro, she was put under pressure by a coarse-grained Gavrilova, her predecessor as Australia’s number one

“If you’re playing another Aussie, the leaderboards go out the window so it would always be a tricky game,” said Barty, who has now won four out of five games against Gavrilova

“We respect each other enough to play hard and fair Ultimately, the result doesn’t matter””

The top seed is on a mission to end Australia’s 43-year-old drought in the singles title in Melbourne and improve their performance in the semifinals at the Australian Open last year

Barty will next play against 29-year-old Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia, who defeated the Czech Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets

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Ash Barty, tennis, Sofia Kenin, Barty, Kaia Kanepi

World news – AU – Australian Open 2021: Ash Barty, result, score, injury, next opponent, schedule

Source: https://www.foxsports.com.au/tennis/australian-open/australian-open-2021-ash-barty-result-score-next-opponent-schedule/news-story/c100e2667c3fe9e5fe565d4a522c8893