In a battle between two former Sydney International finalists, Australian wild card Samantha Stosur thrilled her home-country fans with a come-from-behind first-round victory over frequent rival Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The victory extended her head-to-head lead over Cibulkova to 6-2, and was their first ever match to reach three sets.
"I'm really happy with that win".
Barty has lost all four previous encounters with the Romanian, a finalist at Melbourne Park a year ago, but is making no secret of her desire to take her game to the next level in 2019.
"It's kind of the flawless opportunity for me to go out there and play freely and try a few different things and get ready as best that I can to try and win that match".
Matches were delayed for hours earlier on Monday, and Stosur said she was not confident play would result after the wet weather halt was called. "Yeah, obviously really pleased".
It was her fifth first-round exit in Brisbane in six years.
Despite her poor record at her home grand slam, Stosur told Sporting News that she has the confidence to deliver this Summer.
"There's many players that go into the Aussie Open without winning a match, but because I'm Australian, here it's highlighted on me more than anyone else".
"Maybe tonight's helped change that", Stosur said.
"I feel really good about where I'm at and ready to go".
"I was in both of those matches and let my opportunities slip, so I know that if I do the right things, I will certainly get my opportunities and then it comes down to execution and trying to do the right things".
Win or lose against world No.1 Simona Halep on Wednesday, Ashleigh Barty feels primed to challenge for Australian Open glory after continuing her blazing start to the season in Sydney.