Perez prepares for all-Aussie showdown with Barty

Shellharbour wildcard Ellen Perez will get the chance to build on her career-best form to start 2018 when she takes on Australian rising star Ashleigh Barty in round two of the Sydney International on Tuesday.

Ellen Perez. Picture: AAP

Ellen Perez. Picture: AAP

Two days after claiming her first victory on the top tour against French world number 11 Kristina Mladenovic, Perez will face off against Australia’s highest ranked women’s player in Homebush.

The left-hander, who needs a wildcard to play at the Australian Open, survived the heat to beat Mladenovic 6-4 4-2 (retired) at Ken Rosewall Arena on Sunday.

Barty had to wait another 24 hours to play her first round match, but had little trouble against Paraguayan qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg on Monday. She prevailed with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win to set up an all-Australian second round encounter.

"I have played her a lot and she actually got the better of me the last time we played each other so I am expecting a good match,” Barty said of her encounter with Perez.

"Hopefully I can come out here and fix a few things up from [Monday's game] and look forward to [Tuesday's match]."

Barty and Perez are scheduled to play on Court 1 on Tuesday evening. The winner will progress to the quarter finals where they will meet the winner of the match between Ekaterina Makarova and Barbora Strýcová.

MORE COVERAGE, PAGES 23,26

HIGH RANKING: Ashleigh Barty will face off against Ellen Perez at the Sydney International. Picture: AAP

HIGH RANKING: Ashleigh Barty will face off against Ellen Perez at the Sydney International. Picture: AAP

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