Ash Barty and Storm Sanders got Australia off and running in the Olympic doubles event with just a handful of in-house spectators looking on as the crowd-free Games got the tennis event started.

Only former Australian Olympic medalist Alicia Molik – Athens 2004 bronze – and Barty’s coach were on hand along with a few others in the stands at the Ariake Colosseum.

Barty and company crushed Japan’s Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-1, 6-2 with five breaks of the locals.

The world No. 1 from Queensland is amongst the mix for singles gold medal honours once the individual tournament gets underway.

 Barty will start as singles top seed against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, ranked 48th who beat Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon first round where Barty lifted her second Grand Slam trophy a fortnight ago.

Main photo:- Ash Barty in her Australian Olympic outfit ©Tennis Australia

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