AAP Tennis

Kyrgios and Barty lead Wimbledon charge

By AAP Newswire

Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty will lead Australia's most promising Wimbledon title tilt in almost a decade, a year after the most disastrous campaign since World War II.

The 150th anniversary championships start on Monday with Kyrgios and Barty, both boasting proven grass-court pedigree and in excellent touch, heading a 14-strong singles charge - Australia's largest contingent since Lleyton Hewitt's swan song in 2015.

The bumper representation is a far cry from last year's horror show when no man made the second round for only the second time in 79 years.

Arina Rodionova was the only player to reach the second round, while Kyrgios retired with a hip injury during his opener against Pierre-Hugues Hubert and Bernard Tomic was fined for admitting he was "a little bored" in a lame loss to Mischa Zverev.

Fast forward 12 months and Australia's stocks have soared.

Late-blooming Matt Ebden and teenage ace Alex de Minaur, both enjoying career-high rankings, along with John Millman, Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth, qualifiers Alex Bolt, Jason Kubler and John-Patrick Smith, former quarter-finalist Tomic and Kyrgios have given Australia 10 starters in the men's event.

Barty, seeded 17th, leads a four-strong women's assault also featuring Daria Gavrilova, Samantha Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic.

Had Barty not dropped one spot in the rankings, Australia would have a top-16 seed in both the men's and women's singles for only the second time in more than 30 years.

It all adds up to Australia's most promising Wimbledon build-up since Hewitt upstaged Roger Federer in the Halle title decider in 2010, two weeks after Stosur made the French Open final.

Andy Murray's withdrawal on the eve of the championships with a hip injury has also left Thanasi Kokkinakis next in line for a call-up.

While seeded hopes Kyrgios, Barty and Gavrilova are among nine Australians set to open their campaigns on Tuesday, Millman, Thompson, Kubler, Smith and Tomljanovic are all in action on day one.

AUSSIES IN ACTION ON DAY TWO OF WIMBLEDON ON TUESDAY (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING):

Men's singles, first round

15-Nick Kyrgios v Denis Istomin (UZB)

James Duckworth v 4-Alexander Zverev (GER)

Matt Ebden v 10-David Goffin (BEL)

Alex Bolt v 23-Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Alex De Minaur v 29-Marco Cecchinato (ITA)

Bernard Tomic v Hubert Hurkacz (POL)

Women's singles, first round

17-Ashleigh Barty v Stefanie Voegele (SUI)

26-Daria Gavrilova v Zarina Diyas (KAZ)

Samantha Stosur v Peng Shaui (CHN)