World No. 22 Cori Gauff is looking forward to play world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in Adelaide.
Gauff, 17, beat Ulrikke ELkeri 6-2 6-1 in her first match of the season to progress into the Adelaide round-of-16.
As a reward, Gauff gets to face Barty for the second time.
Gauff was 6-4 2-1 down to Barty at the Rome Masters last year before the Australian retired the match.
“You want to play the best player early in the season because everything will maybe not seem easy, but you’re starting off strong. This is probably the best matchup I could get,” Gauff said of facing Barty, per WTA Insider.
“I think this would be a perfect kind of test for me.”
Gauff already aims a Grand Slam
Gauff is just 17 but she is targeting to make some noise on the Grand Slam level.
“The biggest target is winning a Grand Slam. That’s the goal. But also just continuing to be a better person and better player on the court. I would say handling my emotions a little bit better are something I need to work on, and I worked on.” Gauff revealed.
Meanwhile, Barty is set to play her first tournament since the US Open.
Speaking in her pre-tournament press conference in Adelaide, Barty acknowledged every year there are fresh challengers.
“There are fresh challengers every year, regardless of who is what spot on the ranking list,” said Barty, who received a first-round bye in Adelaide. “Girls really stepped up, were able to play really consistent seasons, which is exciting to see for the women’s game.
“It feels like it’s just good competition. Genuinely there is really good depth and you have to bring your best time and time again to be able to compete with everyone and give yourself a chance to win the big titles.”
It remains to be seen if Gauff can cause an upset and beat No. 1 seed Barty.