Palmerbet Sports Team’s Best of the Day preview serves up tennis tips for Aussie phenom Ash Barty’s opening assignment in Doha against Petra Martic. 

Tennis Tips – Petra Martic V Ashleigh Barty

21:00 (AEDT) @ Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha

History: Played 1: Barty 1 d Martic 0

Last Meeting: Miami Masters, 2018 (R32): Barty d Martic 6-4 6-3

Final Thoughts: Boasting a new career-high WTA ranking of No.13, Aussie star Ashleigh Barty lines up for her first tournament since a watershed Australian Open run.

Her first-round opponent at the Qatar Open is experienced Croatian Petra Martic, who also has a career-best ranking of No.31.

Barty stormed to a maiden grand slam quarter-final to capture the Melbourne crowd’s imagination last month. But she was halted by a white-hot Petra Kvitova – who also beat her in the preceding Sydney International final – in their last-eight showdown.

The 22-year-old is on a quick turnaround from a crucial role in Australia’s Fed Cup victory over USA.

Barty whipped Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys in singles action to maintain her excellent formline.

Martic has also been in good touch since winning a WTA 125K tournament in Chicago in September.

The 28-year-old reached the third round of the Australian Open, downing Heather Watson and Marketa Vondrousova, before a hard-fought 7-6 7-6 loss to fifth seed Sloane Stephens.

Barty prevailed in her only previous meeting with Martic, a straight-sets victory at last year’s Miami Masters.

Eighth seed Barty is unsurprisingly a $1.30 favourite ahead of this clash. But Martic underlined her staying power in her loss to Stephens – and with a far less hectic lead-in, she looks strong value for the upset.

Consider a three-set total and Martic with the head-start given Barty’s tight timeframe to prepare.

Tip: Handicap – Martic +4.5 @ $1.93