World number one Ash Barty marked her return to competitive tennis after almost a year out with a 6-3 6-3 win over Romania's Ana Bogdan in the second round of Yarra Valley Classic on Tuesday.
Barty went down narrowly to world number two Simona Halep in last week's exhibition event in Adelaide but was back to winning ways on Tuesday, facing a single breakpoint on her serve in the match.
"I had so much fun out here today, and I think I missed you guys so much as well," Barty, who had a bye in the opening round, told the handful of fans present at Melbourne Park's Margaret Court Arena.
How can 'Rafa-like' Swiatek be stopped? And who could do it?
This is one of my favourite places to play in the entire world, and for me to be able to come back after 11 or 12 months off now- it's been a while, but I miss this feeling, I miss coming out here and competing.
Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin had won the opening set 7-5 when Italian Camila Giorgi retired from their second-round clash with a left thigh injury.
"This obviously is not the way I wanted to win. I hope she's going to feel better for the Aussie Open," American Kenin, who will next face compatriot Jessica Pegula, told reporters.
"It's unfortunate, but I feel like I played well. It's a win. I'm going to take it, of course."
Top shots from 2020 Australian Open
Other Grand Slam champions also advanced at the WTA 500 event on Tuesday with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon the following year, picking up contrasting wins.
Kvitova found a way past seven-times major winner Venus Williams with a 7-6(6) 7-5 win while last year's Australian Open finalist Muguruza strolled past Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2 6-0.
- - -
The Australian Open is live on Eurosport. Watch every match live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
Simona Halep - 'I've found my love for this sport again' - Players' Voice
Former world no.1 Barty set to compete in the golf Icon Series
Share this article