Rome: Barty draws Sharapova in first round
Ash Barty faces a tough tennis test when she takes to the clay courts of the Foro Italico for the WTA tournament in Rome. She's joined in the main draw by Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur.
Ash Barty will for the first time face Maria Sharapova in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Barty is joined by fellow Aussies Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic at the $3.35 million tournament, among the more prestigious events on the WTA calendar.
While Gavrilova and Stosur have impressive histories at the tournament, Barty has never before played in the main draw.
In her one and only appearance in Rome last year, she fell in the second round of qualifying to Jelena Ostapenko, who went on to win Roland Garros.
Barty is this time around seeded 16th, and should she get past Sharapova – a quarterfinalist this week in Madrid – she is seeded to face No.3 seed Garbine Muguruza in the last 16.
Gavrilova opens against CiCi Bellis and could be Muguruza’s second-round opponent.
Gavrilova has won 13 of her past 16 matches in Rome, reaching the semifinals at the Foro Italico in 2015 and the quarterfinals last year.
No filter needed when in Rome.. pic.twitter.com/2NgOBQxKoV
— Daria Gavrilova (@Daria_gav) May 12, 2018
Stosur, a finalist in Rome in 2011, received a main draw wildcard and will face a qualifier in her first-round match.
The winner advances to a second-round meeting with No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who received a round-one bye.
Tomljanovic joined Barty, Gavrilova and Stosur in the main draw via qualifying; she won her first match against Magda Linette and then beat eighth seed Zarina Diyas 7-6(4) 6-3.