Barty set for next challenge at Australian Open 2022
There have been plenty of reasons to smile so far for world No.1 Ash Barty, who is one of 19 Australians competing on day five, at Australian Open 2022.
Ash Barty is yet to lose serve at Australian Open 2022 – and in fact, has won 48 consecutive service games stretching back to her first match of the season in Adelaide earlier this month.
Using her serve superbly to dictate matches, the world No.1 has progressed to the third round at her home Grand Slam for a sixth year in a row.
Currently on a six-match winning streak and having conceded only three games so far this tournament, it is no secret that Barty’s serve is one of the best in the world.
“I’m not the biggest girl out there, but I know I’ve got a sound technique and I know if I can get my rhythm right and use it effectively, it can be a weapon,” Barty said.
The 25-year-old Australian’s third-round opponent is world No.33 Camila Giorgi, a 30-year-old Italian whose blistering ground strokes make her dangerous.
“She has the ability to hold the baseline, to control the centre of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return,” noted Barty, who has not lost to an Italian opponent since 2013.
“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, neutralise the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realising 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 is one of 19 Australians scheduled to compete at Melbourne Park on day five.
Aussies in action:
 Ash Barty (AUS) v  Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Women’s singles, third round, Rod Laver Arena, night session, first match (from 7pm AEDT)
Barty owns an impressive record against 30th seed Giorgi, winning each of their three previous encounters. They last played at the Australian Open four years ago, when Barty claimed a three-set second-round victory. “It’s going to be a great match,” said Giorgi, who is aiming to advance to the Australian Open fourth round for the first time and improve a 1-8 win-loss record against seeded opponents at Melbourne Park. “I think every year it’s different, so I think it’s going to be completely different than the other matches. I will try to play my game, and we’ll see.”
Head-to-head record: Barty leads 3-0
Last meeting: Barty won 5-7 6-4 6-1 (Australian Open, 2018)
 John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v [WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Tristan Schoolkate (AUS)
Men’s doubles, second round, John Cain Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
This is a battle between two former AO champions and two rising stars. Peers, a 33-year-old Aussie ranked No.12, won the AO 2017 men’s doubles title. While world No.9 Polasek, a 36-year-old Slovak, is the defending champion. The fifth-seeded duo face Aussie wildcards Hijikata, a 20-year-old from Sydney, and Schoolkate, a 20-year-old from Perth, who are contesting their first Grand Slam doubles main draw.
 Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v Eri Hozumi (JPN)/Makoto Ninomiya (JPN)
Women’s doubles, second round, Kia Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
World No.27 Sanders has matched her career-best result in an Australian Open women’s doubles draw, advancing to the second round for a third time (she also reached this stage in 2016 and 2021). To progress further, the 27-year-old Melbourne local and her 23-year-old American partner, world No.26 Dolehide, need to beat Japanese duo world No.56 Hozumi and world No.41 Ninomiya.
[WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) v  Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)
Women’s doubles, second round, 1573 Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Aussie wildcards Cabrera and Hon are enjoying a career-best run in a Grand Slam doubles draw. This is the second time 24-year-old Cabrera has reached the AO second round, while it is a first for 23-year-old Hon. The Queenslanders now meet No.2 seeds Aoyama and Shibahara, a Japanese duo that claimed five WTA titles together last season and are tied in the rankings at world No.6.
[WC] Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) v Camila Osorio (COL)/Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 8, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Melbourne locals Rodionova, a 32-year-old ranked No.66, and Polmans, a 24-year-old AO 2021 mixed doubles semifinalist ranked No.107, are teaming up for the first time. They face a Colombian team, who are also a new pairing. The 20-year-old Osorio is making her Grand Slam mixed doubles debut alongside 35-year-old Cabal, a former world No.1 and the AO 2017 mixed doubles champion.
Ellen Perez (AUS)/Greet Minnen (BEL) v  Alexa Guarachi (CHI)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA)
Women’s doubles, second round, Court 8, second match
World No.42 Perez has advanced to the second round in an AO women’s doubles draw for the second time, and for the first time since 2018. The 26-year-old Aussie is keen to continue this winning run alongside Belgian partner Minnen, a 24-year-old ranked No.77. Fifth seeds world No.12 Guarachi, a 31-year-old from Chile, and world No.14 Melichar-Martinez, a 28-year-old American, are a new team in 2022.
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (AUS) v Rebecca Peterson (SWE)/Anastasia Potapova (RUS)
Women’s doubles, second round, Court 15, second match
Already enjoying a career-best run in a Grand Slam doubles competition, 23-year-old Birrell and 17-year-old Kempenaers-Pocz are now eyeing a place in the third round. The Aussie wildcards play 26-year-old Peterson and 20-year-old Potapova in the second round. The Swedish-Russian combination eliminated the No.15 seeds to score the first AO doubles wins of their own careers earlier this week.
 Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v Magda Linette (POL)/Bernarda Pera (USA)
Women’s doubles, second round, John Cain Arena, third match
Continuing their quest to win a second AO women’s doubles title, world No.15 Stosur and world No.8 Zhang face a dangerous duo in the second round. World No.59 Linette and world No.45 Pera advanced to the Roland Garros 2021 semifinals and eliminated the top seeds at the 2021 US Open. AO 2019 champions Stosur and Zhang did win their only previous meeting, during a title-winning run at Cincinnati last August.
[WC] Dane Sweeny (AUS)/Li Tu (AUS) v [WC] Treat Huey (PHL)/Christopher Rungkat (INA)
Men’s doubles, second round, Kia Arena, third match
A big opportunity awaits for Aussie duo Sweeny and Tu, who are competing in a Grand Slam doubles draw for the first time. The 20-year-old Sweeny and 25-year-old Tu face another wildcard pairing in the second round. Huey is a 36-year-old from the Philippines and a former top-20 player, while Rungkat is a 32-year-old Indonesian enjoying a career-best Australian Open run.
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS)/Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [Alt] Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)
Men’s doubles, second round, 1573 Arena, third match (not before 3pm)
O’Connell is having a tournament to remember. The 27-year-old from Sydney is through to the third round in singles and now hoping to reach the same stage in doubles. It would be a career-first for both O’Connell and 28-year-old Kubler, who recorded their first Grand Slam doubles win earlier this week. The Aussie wildcards face an American pair, world No.84 Lammons and world No.89 Withrow.
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v  Nikola Mektic (CRO)/Mate Pavic (CRO)
Men’s doubles, second round, Kia Arena, fourth match (not before 5pm)
Kokkinakis and Kyrgios are close friends and have a lot of fun on court together. Today they face the world’s best team, world No.1 Pavic and world No.2 Mektic. The Croat duo were crowned champions at nine events in 2021, including Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. The Aussie wildcards are hoping to advance to the third round in doubles for the first time at their home Grand Slam.
[WC] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Matwe Middelkoop (NED) v  Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA)/Robert Farah (COL)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 8, fourth match
Perez is making her fourth appearance in an Australian Open mixed doubles draw. The 26-year-old from New South Wales, who is Australia’s third highest-ranked woman in doubles at world No.42, is partnering Middelkoop, a 38-year-old Dutchman ranked No.28. They face the third seeds, 28-year-old Melichar-Martinez is ranked No.14 and 34-year-old Farah is ranked No.10, in the opening round.
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