"I was hoping I didn't trip and fall" - Barty on transition to clay following Charleston opener

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty returned to clay-court tennis at the 2021 Volvo Car Open, cruising past Misaki Doi in her opening match.

The Australian had not played a match on the surface since her title run at the 2019 French Open, where she won her maiden Grand Slam. Having sat out most of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Barty was unsure of how she would fare as she transitioned from the hardcourt to clay.

"There was an adjustment period, without a doubt," Barty said. "It was a very quick turnaround from Miami, just had a couple of hours of practice. I was, honestly, just hoping I didn't trip and fall over trying to slide."

Fresh off defending her Miami Open title, the top seed had little trouble in her first match back on clay. She won 10 of her last 11 games in her second round match, and looked like she had never left the surface.

"It came back quite naturally," revealed Barty. "So really happy to be back her, particularly in Charleston, but back on clay."

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