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Barty continues tennis comeback in Hobart

AAP logoAAP 6/01/2017 Andrew Drummond

The Hobart International is the next step in Ash Barty's tennis comeback, with the Aussie winning the first of three qualifying matches as she inches closer to the main draw.

The world No.271 on Friday scored a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win over South Korean Su Jeong Jang, ranked 143rd.

The victory comes just two days after Queenslander Barty had pushed world No.1 Angelique Kerber to three tight sets before being overcome at the Brisbane International.

"It's a fresh tournament and a fresh start," the 20-year-old said of her wildcard Hobart campaign, moving on from Brisbane.

"I feel great. A little bit flat today (after) jumping off the plane and not being able to hit when we got in, but it's all still preparation for the Australian Open."

Barty said she struggled for rhythm at times as she dropped the second set on Friday but was able to "refresh her mind".

She faces another two qualifying rounds before her place is confirmed in the tournament's main draw.

On Saturday, Barty faces world No.88 American Nicole Gibbs.

The Wimbledon junior champion in 2012, Barty defected to cricket a year ago and played for the Brisbane Heat. She has turned back to tennis and is trying to surpass her previous best WTA singles ranking of 129.

Earlier on Friday, Australia's Storm Sanders and Tammi Patterson both failed to convert their qualification wildcards.

Sanders, 22 from NSW, lost 6-4 6-2 to Czech contender Tereza Martincova and Victoria's Patterson, 27, went down 3-6 7-6 6-1.

Play in the main draw starts on Sunday, with top seed Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands facing Germany's Annika Beck.

Reigning Hobart International champion Alize Cornet from France meets Czech Kristyna Pliskova in round one.

Other top players include world No.34 Anastasija Sevastova, No.38 Monica Niculescu, American No.39 Alison Riske and 40th-ranked Misaki Doi from Japan.

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