The last time Australia’s Ash Barty was out on Arthur Ashe Stadium she was being crowned US Open champion in doubles.
Barty and Coco Vandeweghe had claimed the doubles title in 2018.
Playing her first singles match on Arthur Ashe Barty got off to a slow start and found herself down 1-6 after the first set against Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan.
Barty’s serve was way off in the opening set and she lacked patience during the rallies. The world no. 2 serving at just 25% on first serves in the opening set.
Five winners came from Barty in the first set, but this was overshadowed by 19 unforced errors.
Barty was able to turn things around to avoid an early exit from the 2019 US Open.
The Australian’s serve was still not up to standard with 46% of first serves finding their mark but the winners in set no. 2 were just ahead of the unforced errors at 10 to nine.
In the deciding set Barty finally found her rhythm on serve and was able to get 62% or her first serves into play. Diyas was going the other way serving at 52% after being in the 60s in the first two sets.
Barty hit four Aces and that helped push the winners count up to 12 for the set against eight unforced errors. Diyas hit just five winners to 13 unforced errors.
Two breaks of serve in the final set helped Barty move into a second-round matchup against USA’s Lauren Davis. The final score was 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I probably would have preferred if it was a little bit more straightforward, but I’m happy [with] the way we were able to fight through that and find a way after a pretty awful start,” Barty said after the match. “I think I just didn’t give myself a chance in that first set. I think it was just nice to kind of lockdown a little bit. It took some time, but kind of break her down in the end,” said Barty.
Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur and Priscilla Hon all fell at the first hurdle, all losing in straight sets.