Mattek-Sands beats teenager Barty
AAP Monday 9 January 2012 Be the first to comment »
Experienced American Bathanie Mattek-Sands has beaten highly-rated 15-year-old Ashleigh Barty in the Queenslander’s debut WTA tour match.
Barty fell 6-2 6-2 to the world No.56 at the Moorilla Hobart International.
The teenager has been compared to Martina Hingis at the same age and started off promisingly for the young Queenslander, who stunningly won the Australian Open Play-off late last year.
She opened by holding her serve then broke her 26-year-old opponent to lead 2-0 before the American’s power and experience came to the fore with three service breaks in the first and two in the second set.
Barty said she’d enjoyed the experience.
“I hit a few winners and I made a few errors, but I thought I gave her a pretty good run for her money,” she said.
“She’s been on tour a lot longer, she’s got a lot more experience and she’s a lot stronger than me, and I think that was the main difference.”
Junior Wimbledon champion Barty found herself in the spotlight when she won her way into the season’s first grand slam following a handful of ITF tour and qualifying appearances and a training stint in Las Vegas with Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.
Last year’s finalist Mattek-Sands will meet Romanian Soran Cirstea in the second round.
There was better news for Australia earlier with Casey Dellacqua downing world No.58 Galina Voskoboeva 7-5 4-6 6-4 to set up a second-round clash with top seed Yanina Wickmayer, who beat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 7-5 6-4.
An older and wiser Casey Dellacqua says she’s ready to make another run at the Australian Open after several seasons disrupted by injury.
The 26-year-old reached the fourth round of the major in 2008, when she reached a career-high ranking of 39.
“I certainly feel like a different person and player now,” the world No.134 said.
“Mentally, I guess as you’re a bit older you just mature a bit more and I feel like I’m ready to make runs like that again.
“I definitely feel like I’m in a position right now to be able to compete with these girls and do this week-in week-out.”
Other first round winners on Monday included Italy’s Sara Errani, fourth seed Angelique Kerber, Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova and German Mona Barthel.