MELBOURNE – World number one Ash Barty was staring at a second consecutive first-round exit from Australian Open warmup events on Tuesday before grinding out a 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Adelaide International.
Beaten by American Jennifer Brady in her Brisbane International opener last week, the Australian arrived at Memorial Drive looking to build confidence ahead of the season's opening Grand Slam but was quickly on the back foot.
The 23-year-old dropped the opening set to Pavlyuchenkova before winning the second and storming to a 5-2 lead in the third, only to let the Russian claw back to 5-5.
Barty regained her composure, however, and broke Pavlyuchenkova before closing out the match in steamy conditions.
“I definitely was able to find a bit more of my kind of style tennis and control the match a little bit more in the third,” Barty told reporters.