Overexposed, sure, but Ash Barty not feeling overwhelmed ahead of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty insists she is not feeling any extra pressure to win this year's Australian Open but joked on Sunday that seeing her face everywhere in the city has made her feel "a little sick".

The Australian, who won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last summer, is trying to become the first home player to win either singles event at Melbourne Park since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

Having completed the perfect preparation by winning her first title on home soil in Adelaide on Saturday, Barty said she was raring to go.

"Yeah, my face is everywhere a little bit, isn't it? I'm a bit sick of it to be honest," she told reporters at Melbourne Park on Sunday.

"There's no extra pressure. I don't read the papers. I don't look into any more than I need to. I'm here with my team trying to do the best that we can.

"It's amazing to have so much support and so much love from the Australian public. I've really felt that in an exceptional way over the last 12 months. It's been incredible. Just pretty excited to get started tomorrow night."

Barty said she would have felt well-prepared even if she had not won the title in Adelaide, but picking up the trophy in Australia has put an added spring in her step.

"I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm coming into the first Grand Slam of the year with a smile on my face," she said. "That's all I can ask of myself. Really special to be able to have won a title last week, my first on Australian soil."

The 23-year-old reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne 12 months ago, losing out to Petra Kvitova in a high-quality encounter.

Having won in Paris in June, Barty is second-favorite for the title behind Serena Williams, but the Australian said she will not let herself think about what it would mean if she were to win the title.

"It's a long way, long way away," she said. "I think there are a lot of Aussies in the draw on the men's side and the women's side. Obviously for all of us it's a dream. For every player in this draw it's a dream to try and win a Grand Slam. We'll just try to do the best we can tomorrow night and see how we go."

Barty takes on Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in the first round, a player she lost to in their first meeting in Brisbane two years ago.

"I know I'll have to be ready to go right from the start," she said. "But yeah, looking forward to it. Obviously it's a match-up similar to a few of the girls I played in Adelaide.

"In that regard, there are some similarities. Also knowing she's her own unique player. There are challenges she presents. Looking forward to try to problem-solve, see what I can do."