The Best of the Day preview goes to the net with tennis tips with an all-Australian clash between Ash Barty and Daria Garilova in Strasbourg.
19:05 (AEST) @ Strasbourg Tennis Club
History: Played 3: Barty 2 V Gavrilova 1
History: Madrid Open, 2019 (R64): Barty d Gavrilova 6-1 6-2
Final Thoughts: There’s less than a week until the 2019 French Open gets underway, and Aussie duo Ash Barty and Daria Gavrilova are tuning up at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
World No.8 Barty is the top seed at this tournament – and rated a genuine threat to triumph at Roland Garros. But Gavrilova is a former finalist in Strasbourg, going down to another compatriot, Sam Stosur, in 2017. Gavrilova beat Barty in the quarters.
Barty has gone from strength to strength since her late-2018 WTA Elite Trophy success. She reached the final of the Sydney International and earned a career-best Australian Open quarter-final berth, losing to Petra Kvitova in both.
But the 23-year-old overcame the Kvitova bogey in the quarters of the Miami Open. She went on to win that tournament by downing Karolina Pliskova in the final.
She’s done it!
Ash Barty gets the biggest win of her career – topping Karolina Pliskova in the Miami Open final.https://t.co/vN2Lb6suT5
— Herald Sun Sport (@heraldsunsport) March 30, 2019
Her clay-court season so far has consisted of a quarter-final run at the Madrid Open (losing to Simona Halep) and a second-round exit to Kristina Mladenovic at the Italian Open.
But she won the doubles title at the Italian Open with Victoria Azarenka.
Ash Barty has continued her fine 2019 form, securing a career-first top eight seeding at the French Open.
She did it with a little help from her double's partner, Victoria Azarenka. https://t.co/z9qWDMO7TV
— PlayersVoice (@playersvoice) May 15, 2019
World No.38 Gavrilova has lost her last five matches, including a 6-1 6-2 first-round beatdown from Barty in Madrid. Her only outing since was a loss to Irina-Camelia Begu in the Italian Open qualifiers.
Gavrilova’s only singles wins in 2019 were at Indian Wells, reaching the third round before falling to Elina Svitolina.
— Tennis News (@TennisNewsPaper) May 4, 2019
The 25-year-old reached the third round of the French Open last year; Barty’s best effort is a second-round appearance. But on recent form Barty looks headed for another convincing victory over her countrywoman.