Barty and Osaka in the Top of the Australian Open Draw

Barty and Osaka in the Top of the Australian Open Draw Photo: TT
Ashleigh Barty, of Australia, practices for the women's tennis competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Tokyo

Both World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and current defending Champion Naomi Osaka are in the top section of the Australian Open draw. They could potentially square off in Round 16.

The draw was released Thursday at Melbourne Park.

Barty landed the No.1 Seed while Osaka is at No.13. Australian Barty is the favorite to win the Aussie Open. If she does, she will be the first Australian to win the title since 1978. In 2019, she won the title at Roland Garros, and last year, she won Wimbledon.

Osaka, on the other hand, won her first Aussie Open in 2019. She won again last year. Her defense of the title this year will start with a match against Colombian Camila Osorio.

Should Barty and Osaka meet on the court, it will be a tie-breaker with both currently holding two wins each. One of those wins was Osakas defeat of Barty at the third round of the 2018 Aussie Open.

The second quarter of this years draw will feature Barbora Krejcikova, who is the reigning champion of Roland Garros. Other names in the second quarter include Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin. Coco Gauff is in there as well.

Leading the third quarter is Garbine Muguruza. Other players in the third quarter include Anett Kontaveit and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

In the fourth quarter are Aryna Sabalenka, Storm Sanders, Iga Swiatek, and Petra Kvitova.

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer @pebbykins
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