Ashleigh Barty is all set to debut as the World No. 1 player in the world in front of her home crowd. She will step out on the Pat Rafter Arena of the Queensland Tennis Centre on Thursday to take on America's Jennifer Brady.
While the prospect of a clash between Barty and Maria Sharapova took a beating on Tuesday evening when Brady outlasted the Russian star, a Brady-Barty match-up is still quite enticing.
Brady, for one, was fantastic in her opening match against Sharapova. She was hitting outrageous groundstrokes and matching the Russian's power shot-for-shot
Add to that the extra match practice that she has raked in during the qualifiers and you have a very dangerous player, who's only growing in confidence with every match win.
However, she is all set to face her biggest test in form of the most complete player that she has faced all week in Barty. The Australian is unlike any other opponents that Brady has conquered so far.
While she did well to tackle Sharapova's power, Barty will throw a lot of different shots at her. The Australian not only a powerful serve and forehand, but also lots of guile on her slide and drops shots that Brady will have be at the receiving end of.
Barty made light work of her American counterpart in all their meetings in 2019, one of which was on the hardcourts of California and she has only gotten better since.
Brady for her part, has improved a great deal as well over the past few months and is not longer as volatile as she once used to be.
If she manages to out up a strong performance like she did against Sharapova, there is no reason why she cannot push Barty to the limits.
Prediction: Barty to win in three sets.