11 December 2011 | Tennis Queensland

Ashleigh Barty is set to compete against the world’s best after claiming a place in the main draw of Australian Open 2012.

The rising star will join tennis’ elite for the first Grand Slam of the year after winning the Australian Open Play-off today at Melbourne Park.

Fifteen-year-old Barty is likely to be the youngest player at next year’s tournament after she defeated defending champion and second seed Olivia Rogowska (St Kilda, Vic).

After being down early in the first set, the Queenslander clawed her way back to take the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6(6) before running away with the second set 6-2.

Barty was elated with her win when she spoke after the match.

“I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. I’m pleased with what I’ve done and I’ve played some really good tennis this week,” said Barty.

When asked about playing in her first Grand Slam tournament Barty replied, “ I don’t really want to think about it yet… I’ll probably go out there and play some horrendous tennis and be really nervous, but I’ll just go out there and have some fun.”

Barty came into the play-off as a wildcard after winning the Optus 18s Australian Championship last week and swept through the Australian Open Play-off without dropping a set, despite encountering players with years more experience.