Danielle Collins will line up as the opening opponent for top seed Ash Barty after the American earned her place on Monday 7-6(5), 6-1 over Zheng Saisai at the Adelaide International.

Australian Barty benefits from a first-round bye, with the WTA No. 1 due to face Collins on Wednesday at Memorial Drive.

Collins, an Australian Open semi-finalist in 2019, advanced in just over 90 minutes over her Chinese opposition.

“She’s a really challenging player,” the winner said. “She has a really versatile game and it can be tricky at times.” 

Victory marked a first in the series for Collins, who had dropped their first two encounters. 

The American now stands 8-3 since arriving in Australia in January to compete in the Open,where she lost in the second round before reaching the semi-finals last week at Melbourne Park in a consolation WTA event.

Zheng is 0-4 at the end of her ill-fated stay in the country. “I knew I had to be patient,” the 37th-ranked Collins said. 

Collins stand 0-3 against Barty, an Open quarter-finalist and defending champion from the 2020 inaugural Adelaide edition the American also went down to the Australian in the semi-finals here a year ago

.In other opening day results, eighth seed Wang Qiang put out 18-year-old wildcard Olivia Gadecki 6-4, 6-3.

American Shelby Rogers, who reached the Melbourne fourth round last week, defeated January’s Abu Dhabi finalist Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 7-6(4).


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