Brutal Barty beating not seen in 36 years
Ash Barty clearly had somewhere else to be.
The Aussie tennis star absolutely annihilated Danka Kovinic in straight sets on Tuesday night, romping to a 6-0 6-0 win in just 44 minutes to begin her Australian Open campaign for another year.
It makes you wonder what the point of enduring 14 days of quarantine was for Barty's opponent from Montenegro.
As sports reporter Sam Landsberger pointed out on Twitter, Kovinic spent 20,160 minutes in hotel quarantine - only for her tournament to end in just 44 minutes.
Barty won 50 points and lost only 10 all match. That's less than a point a game.
Amazingly, she won the first 16 points of the contest as she bounded towards the history books, becoming the first Australian since Wendy Turnbull in 1985 to win an Australian Open match 6-0 6-0. It was also Barty's first double bagel at a grand slam.
"I wanted to go out there and almost take the sting, take the pepper out of the match a little bit and get it on my terms as much as possible right from the get-go and make it feel like she had a real mountain to climb," Barty said.
"I think that was probably the most pleasing overall is that right from the start I set the tone and was able to run away with it.
"I think the processes and the things we go through before a match and trying to execute that, that's always a challenge. I felt like tonight I had that spot on, which was really pleasing, to be able to roll with the momentum throughout the whole match was really good."
The 24-year-old spent much of last year at home in Queensland after COVID-19 hit, opting to sit out the entire season even when the WTA Tour restarted.
It meant she gave up the chance to defend the French Open crown she won in 2019, and Barty is thrilled to be back competing for trophies again.
"Every single day," Barty said when asked if she'd missed playing. "The competitor in me missed what this is all about.
"That's what I missed the most - coming out here and really enjoying the thrill of the fight.
"We've got crowds, that's the bonus of the next few weeks, we've got people to enjoy it with us and that's the best part about it."
Strutting her stuff in front of Richmond captain Trent Cotchin and wife Brooke, the Tigers diehard was in the mood to impress and didn't disappoint as she put on a tennis masterclass.
Barty breezed through her opening service game then broke for a 2-0 lead as she won the first eight points of the match.
That hot streak was extended to 16 straight points when Barty took a rapid 4-0 lead in 10 minutes.
Kovinic was hapless to stop the bleeding, surrendering the first set in the blink of an eye without winning a game as Barty surged halfway to victory in just 18 minutes.
Kovinic put up more of a fight in the second set but she was no match for the world No. 1 as Barty bulldozed her way to a 3-0 lead in 15 minutes.
That quickly became 5-0 and she wrapped up the next game with ease to claim victory in well under an hour.
Originally published as Brutal Barty beating not seen in 36 years