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Ashleigh Barty or bust for home hopes at Australian Open | Jonathan Howcroft

The Queenslander is in the form of her life but there are limited local expectations for the men

No Australian has won a singles title at the Australian Open since 1978. Let’s not beat around the bush, there is only one local hope that stands a chance of breaking that drought in 2019 and her name is Ashleigh Barty.

Ranked 15 in the world the 22-year old is by some margin the highest seeded Australian in either singles draw. The Queenslander is no flash in the pan either, ending consecutive seasons ranked inside the top 20 on the WTA standings. She is also in the form of her life, capturing the biggest title of her career, the WTA Elite Trophy, at the conclusion of 2018, and dismissing grand slam winners Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko already this campaign.

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