Barty confident injury won’t impact French run
AUSTRALIAN No.1 Ashleigh Barty is optimistic arm soreness will not hamper her from unleashing the deepest French Open run of her career.
The Queenslander, who leads 11 compatriots into singles battle, has practised at Roland Garros with German Julia Goerges, showing little sign of discomfort.
"It's (her right arm) settled down, but it needed rest," world No.8 Barty said.
"It's better now."
Barty withdrew from Strasbourg after experiencing soreness in her serving arm.
The mercurial right-hander is one of a handful of players seriously rated as title hopes in the French capital.
No Australian woman has triumphed at Roland Garros since Barty's idol, Evonne Goolagong, in 1973.
But with 24 wins from 29 matches this season, crowned by Miami Open victory, Barty has emerged as a legitimate contender.
The eighth seed starts her quest against world No.71 Jessica Pegula, but has this season's Australian Open semi-finalist Danielle Collins as a likely second-round foe.
Barty has landed in the same section of the draw as Serena Williams, with a projected meeting in the fourth round.
Williams, winner of 23 majors, eliminated Barty at the French Open last year in the second round.
World No.1 Naomi Osaka is seeded to face Barty in the quarter-finals - a slot Barty would happily sign up for now given her history here.
"It's probably my slam where I haven't played my best tennis," Barty told Kayo Sports.
"I haven't had my best result but, in saying that, it's also a little bit of unfamiliar, uncharted territory in a way.
"I know that if I play my best tennis, I'm more than a genuine chance of going deep in the event.
"I just have to prepare well, do all of the right things and it all aligns for me.
"Anyone in the top 20 has genuine chances of winning the tournament."
Barty will be joined at Roland Garros by Ajla Tomljanovic, Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur, Astra Sharma and Priscilla Hon.
Alex de Minaur, the 21st seed, leads the Australian men's charge.
He is accompanied by John Millman, Matthew Ebden, Bernard Tomic, Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin.
Play starts Sunday with a limited program.
LEO'S FRENCH OPEN TIPS
Men's winner - Rafael Nadal
Question marks were raised after defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, but he returned to form with a vengeance income. Title No.12 awaits.
Women's winner - Kiki Bertens
The French Open has a habit of producing first-time major champions. Bertens loves clay, winning in Madrid and has previously reached the semis here.