Wimbledon show time for Barty

Darren Walton
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Ashleigh Barty has rightly been afforded star billing as one of nine Australians in action at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The world No.1 will launch her title assault against China’s Zheng Saisai in the opening match on Court 1 (10pm AEST) unfazed at being overlooked for a Centre-Court singles debut.

Barty contested the 2013 women’s doubles final on Centre Court, but has made way for defending women’s champion Angelique Kerber, seven-times winner Serena Williams and men’s great Roger Federer.

“Played a few times on Court 1, but the size of the court, they’re all the same,” Barty said.

“The lines are the same. Where you’re scheduled onto play, there isn’t a bad court at Wimbledon so … we’ll go out there and do our best.”

Barty is chasing a 13th straight win, after sweeping to French Open glory and then backing up with title success on grass in Birmingham.

“It’s a little bit bizarre coming into Wimbledon having only played one grasscourt tournament,” the top seed said.

“We feel like we’ve been striking the ball really well, we’re comfortable with the grass under our feet.

“As I keep saying, regardless of a win or a loss, it’s about trying to go about it the right way beforehand and then enjoying the match.”

Australia’s top three men all play early on day two.

Nick Kyrgios’ showdown with countrymen is the first match on Showcourt 3 (8pm AEST), with 25th seed Alex de Minaur up against Italian Marco Cecchinato at the same time on Court 15.

Bernard Tomic, John Millman, Matt Ebden, Samantha Stosur and qualifier Arina Rodionova also open their campaigns on Tuesday.

They’ll all be hoping to join fellow Australians Alexei Popyrin and Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.

Teenage qualifier Popyrin continued his great run with a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-2 win over Spaniard Pablo Carrena Busta in his main-draw debut at the All England Club.

Tomljanovic upset 29th seed Daria Kasatkina, the Russian former top-tenner who ousted Barty in the third round last year, 6-3 6-1 for her first Wimbledon win in four years.

But Daria Gavrilova and Astra Sharma crashed out.

AUSSIES IN ACTION AT WIMBLEDON ON TUESDAY (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING):

Women’s singles, first round

* 1-Ashleigh Barty v Saisai Zheng (CHN)

* Arina Rodionova v Taylor Townsend (USA)

* Samantha Stosur v 30-Carla Suarez-Navarro (ESP)

Men’s singles, first round

* 25-Alex de Minaur v Marco Cecchinato (ITA)

* Nick Kyrgios v Jordan Thompson

* John Millman v Hugo Dellien (BOL)

* Matt Edben v 24-Diego Schwartzman (ARG)

* Bernard Tomic v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)

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