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Barty vs Kuzmova WTA Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Barty seeks first ever main draw win in Rome

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 14 May 2019
  • Ashleigh Barty vs Viktoria Kuzmova is live from Rome on Monday, 14 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
  • Barty and Kuzmova meet for the first time
Ashleigh Barty (PA Sport)

Ashleigh Barty seeks her first ever main draw win at the Italian Open when she takes on Slovak young gun, Viktoria Kuzmova in the second round on Tuesday. 

Barty fell in three sets to Maria Sharapova in her main draw debut last season, and following a bye into the second round, the Australian will attempt to get off the mark at the Foro Italico on Tuesday when she plays the rising Kuzmova.

The Australian has put together a magnificent 2019, winning 23 of her 27 matches, including four in the Fed Cup. Her four losses have been against players of the highest order- two against Petra Kvitova (in Sydney and the Australian Open) and one each against Elina Svitolina (Indian Wells) and Simona Halep (Madrid). Barty has not been without her own top-ten wins, as she has beaten Kvitova, Halep, Kiki Bertens and Karolina Pliskova this season.

Barty picked up her biggest career title at the Premier Mandatory meet in Miami in March, a result that propelled her into the top-ten for the first time; while she also made the final in Sydney, quarter finals at the Australian Open and Madrid, and the fourth round at Indian Wells. The 23-year-old is also 4-0 in Fed Cup matches this season, helping Australia move past the USA and Belarus to return to the final. 

Barty only returned to the sport in late 2016 after taking a 18-month hiatus, and her rise since then has been rapid and remarkable. She had sped up to 17th by the end of 2017, and consolidated that top-20 position with another solid 2018, when she won titles in Nottingham and Zhuhai, made the Sydney final, and reached marquee semi-finals in Wuhan and Montreal.

She has accelerated in 2019, and with nothing to defend in Rome, the world No. 9 has got a chance to inch further up the top ten with a strong week in Italy. She starts off against the talented Kuzmova on Tuesday.


Kuzmova was on the receiving end of an absolute hiding in Madrid last week, falling 6-0 6-0 to Simona Halep in 44 minutes, but she bounced back impressively in her Rome opener, beating former Roland Garros finalist, Sara Errani, 6-1 6-0. The 21-year-old sent down 10 aces against Errani, and dropped just three points on her first serve (she won 18 of 21 points). She was also a perfect 7/7 on break points conversion.

Kuzmova's rise through the ranks has been rapid- she was inside the top 250 at the end of 2016; she cracked the top 150 by the end of 2017, and was ranked exactly 50th at the end of 2018 after reaching a couple of WTA semi-finals in Budapest and s-Hertogenbosch and winning ITF titles in Shenzhen, Trnava and Budapest.

She has continued her ascent in 2019, opening with a semi-final in Auckland, and notably reaching the quarter finals in Dubai, where she took down top-ten star, Kiki Bertens along the way. She also made the third round in Miami and Madrid, where, despite that heavy defeat to Halep, she still had a productive week, beating Julia Goerges and Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening two rounds.

Barty and Kuzmova meet for the first time on Tuesday, and while the exuberant youngster carries plenty of potential and danger, Barty (who is still only 23 herself!) is a wily campaigner, equipped with the variety to nullify Kuzmova's threats.

Ashleigh Barty vs Viktoria Kuzmova is live from Rome on Monday, 14 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST

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Barty vs Kuzmova WTA Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Barty seeks first ever main draw win in Rome

Ashleigh Barty goes after her first win at the Italian Open when she takes on Slovak young gun, Viktoria Kuzmova on Tuesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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