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De Minaur, Barty ready to lead home charge in Melbourne


He then had to rush to Melbourne on Sunday on a private jet — “a small one” — in order to finalize his preparations for his first round clash with Portugal’s Pedro Sousa at the season opening Grand Slam on Monday.


The teenager had criticized Australian Open organizers on Saturday for the scheduling after defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon in the semi-finals, but was in a more conciliatory mood on Sunday.


I’m ready to go... the body is feeling good,” De Minaur, who is the 27th seed and highest-ranked Australian in the men’s singles, told reporters.


The last Australian man to make the men’s singles final was Lleyton Hewitt, who lost to Marat Safin in 2005, but De Minaur felt there was no added pressure on him to end the long drought.


Barty also had to make a hurried dash to Melbourne after she lost the Sydney final to Petra Kvitova in a third-set tie-break and is also scheduled to play on Monday evening against Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum on Margaret Court Arena.


Last year Barty won two WTA titles, reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open and earlier this week beat world number one Simona Halep in Sydney.






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