Ash Barty will be out to turn the tables on Maria Sakkari after a last-start loss.
Ash Barty will be out to turn the tables on Maria Sakkari after a last-start loss.

Friendship on hold for ambitious Ash

Friendship will be put to one side as Ash Barty looks to keep the party going at Melbourne Park, her sights set on making the fourth-round of an Australian Open for the first time.

The in-form Barty is set to take on one of her "great friends" - Greece's Maria Sakkari - in a third-round clash which comes after two dominant straight-sets wins over Luksika Kumkhum and Yafan Wang.

Barty said she was feeling fresh on the back of those results, both matches lasting 65 minutes or less.

However, the 22-year-old, who holds a world ranking of 15, said she had no doubt Friday's clash against the 43rd ranked Sakkari would be "tough".

"Maria, I'm great friends with and have a really great relationship," Barty said.

"We have played a couple times now. She's one of the best movers and competitors out there."

Barty and Sakkari most recently faced off at Indian Wells in March last year, the Aussie going down 6-4 6-2.

News Corp Australia


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