World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia kicked off her 2022 season with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over American Coco Gauff at the Adelaide International on Wednesday.
The top-seeded Barty, 25, had not played the since the U.S. Open in early September.
The two-time Grand Slam winner lost in the second round here in 2021 to American Danielle Collins. Adelaide is a warm-up for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 17.
The 17-year-old Gauff defeated an injured Barty in their only previous meeting in Rome last year.
“This old body might be a little sore tomorrow I think,” Barty said after the match Wednesday. “It’s great to come out here and I think I played a pretty good quality match considering it was the first match in a few months. Coco played great, she forced me to hit a lot of balls tonight and I feel like I got better and better as the match went on.”
In other action, Shelby Rogers eliminated No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4. She set up a quarterfinals match with No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova. Kaja Juvan of Slovenia upset No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-6 (6), 6-1.
Melbourne Summer Set 1
No. 2 seed Simona Halep of Romania got off to a good start, defeating Destanee Aiava of Australia 6-4, 6-2 in her opening match in Melbourne.
No. 3 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia had a much more difficult time advancing, pushed to the limits by Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) in their first-round match.
Anna Bondar of Hungary ousted Czech Katerina Siniakova, the No. 8 seed, 7-5, 7-6 (8). Madison Brengle also moved on with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) win over Nao Hibino of Japan.
Melbourne Summer Set 2
Claire Liu rallied from a set down to upset No. 8 seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in Melbourne.
Another American, Madison Keys, also was victorious, a 6-3, 7-6 (2) winner over Harriet Dart of Great Britain.
In other action, No. 3 seed Daria Kasatkina advanced over fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya 6-1, 3-0 in a walkover. Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia defeated Greet Minnen of Belgium 7-5, 7-5, and Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus topped Xinyu Wang of China 6-4, 6-2.
–Field Level Media