Adelaide International draw: Barty, Swiatek on collision course

21 February 2021, by Matt Trollope

World No.1 Ash Barty headlines an Adelaide International field featuring six of the world’s top 20 and a potential quarterfinal clash between the past two Roland Garros champions.

The WTA 500 main-draw action kicks off on Monday at Memorial Drive, with the qualifying rounds already underway.

Barty, the defending champion, is joined by three countrywomen in the main draw including wildcard Sam Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion who begins against a qualifier.

MAIN DRAW: Adelaide International women’s singles

However, it is Barty’s projected quarterfinal match-up against Iga Swiatek – a duel between the 2019 and 2020 champions in Paris – which captured the most attention when the draw was released on Sunday.

Swiatek, the fifth seed, is yet to know her first-round opponent, while Barty has been given a first-round bye and will open her campaign against either Danielle Collins or Zheng Saisai.

Barty and Collins met in an epic Adelaide International semifinal in 2020, which Barty won in a third-set tiebreak before going on to win the title.

Second seed Belinda Bencic, third seed Johanna Konta and No.4 seed Elise Mertens have also been handed first-round byes, with Mertens landing in Barty’s top half of the draw and on track for a semifinal meeting with the Aussie.

Bencic the one to beat in bottom half

Bencic faces the prospect of a quarterfinal battle with seventh seed Yulia Putintseva, but could also take Aussie wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic, who is projected to meet Putintseva in round two.

Tomljanovic pushed No.2 seed Simona Halep all the way in a thrilling second round encounter at Australian Open 2021.

Konta has a tough second-round battle ahead against either Shelby Rogers or Veronika Kudermetova, both of whom performed strongly at Melbourne Park.

And the winner of that could take on sixth seed Petra Martic in the quarters; Martic will face only qualifiers in her first two rounds, should she progress.

Rounding out the seeds is No.8 Wang Qiang, who opens against another Australian wildcard in Olivia Gadecki.

Gadecki announced herself earlier this week when she upset Sofia Kenin in the second round of the WTA Phillip Island Trophy.