Top seed Barty admits 'not 100%' after French Open scare

Power-packed: Australia's Ashleigh Barty returns the ball to Bernarda Pera
Power-packed: Australia's Ashleigh Barty returns the ball to Bernarda Pera Christophe ARCHAMBAULT AFP
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Paris (AFP)

World number one Ashleigh Barty admitted that she's "not 100%" as she marked her return to the French Open for the first time since her 2019 title triumph by overcoming a scare to beat Bernarda Pera to make the second round on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Australian won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 but she needed a medical timeout after losing the second set and later revealed she was suffering from a hip problem.

"It's going to be a little bit tough this week. I think over the weekend we had a bit of a flare-up through my left hip, which obviously just needed a bit of help today," she said.

"I'm not going to hide behind the fact I'm not quite 100% but I can guarantee that I will go out there with the right attitude every day and be really accepting of that and give it a crack no matter what."

Barty skipped the defence of her title in 2020 due to the pandemic but has been in rich form this year.

The 25-year-old has won trophies at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and on clay in Stuttgart in the run-up to Roland Garros.

After easing through the first set on Court Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday, Barty went off the boil in the second and called for the trainer at the changeover.

The Australian had arrived on court with a heavy strapping on her left leg having also suffered a tournament-ending abdomen injury in Rome two weeks ago.

However, she broke the 70th-ranked Pera for a 4-2 lead in the decider and never looked back.

Barty will next face either Magda Linette of Poland or French wildcard Chloe Paquet for a place in the last 32.