Ashleigh Barty party doesn’t last long at Brisbane International

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BRISBANE, Australia — World No. 1 Ash Barty’s new year has started with an upset loss to American qualifier Jennifer Brady.

The 53rd-ranked Brady, who has no WTA tournament victories, beat French Open champion Barty on her home court at Pat Rafter Arena 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Thursday.

It was a second-round match for both players but Barty had received a first-round bye. Brady had beaten wild-card entry Maria Sharapova in the first round in three sets.

It’s the first time in three matches the 24-year-old Brady has defeated Barty, who was guilty of multiple unforced errors throughout the match.

Brady’s baseline game was crucial to the win, swinging hard throughout with a rusty Barty unable to break the American’s rhythm.

Brady won the opening set in 36 minutes, securing the only break of serve of the match in the seventh game of the set. Barty failed to get close to breaking Brady’s serve throughout and couldn’t force the match into a third set after a 55-minute second set.

Barty has failed to get past the second round in five appearances at the Brisbane International. Brady was playing her fifth match of the season after three qualifiers and Tuesday’s win over Sharapova.

The Australian’s lack of match play could be seen in her 26 unforced errors but she was also keen to pay credit to Brady, who lost just one point on her first serve and didn’t have to face a single break point.

“You can call it rust or you can just call it a bit of execution,” Barty said. “For me it was on those returning games. I had probably had half a dozen second-serve returns where I failed to make it into the court, in that first set in particular. And then Jen grew in confidence. You have to give credit where credit’s due.”

The 23-year-old Australian remains active in the doubles at her hometown event and is in the field for next week’s Adelaide International before starting her Australian Open campaign.

“It’s rare in sport that you get an opportunity every single week and so quickly … that’s one of the beautiful things about tennis is that next week you get a chance in Adelaide to kind of come out there and try and execute that little bit better,” Barty said.

In later matches Thursday, defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka played American Sofia Kenin and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova took on Ludmilla Samsonova.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.