Sports

Wimbledon open: Ashleigh Barty breezes into third round

London, Jul 4 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/4/2019 12:31:38 PM IST

Top seed Ashleigh Barty hurried into the Wimbledon third round on Thursday, dispatching Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-3 in 54 minutes on the All England Club’s distant showcourt Two.

Barty is the woman of the moment having just won her first Grand Slam at the French Open but she and former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber were consigned to Court Two for their second-round matches while much lower ranked Britons were scheduled to play on Centre Court.

But the court did not affect the 23-year-old Australian’s tennis. She sprayed winners, including two delicious lobs, and did not allow Van Uytvanck into the match until the sixth game of the first set.

Barty took the first set with a backhand that wrong-footed her opponent and wrapped up the match, played in warm sunshine, with a high backhand volley winner.

Van Uytvanck is no slouch on grass. The Belgian reached the last 16 here last year, upsetting defending champion Garbine Muguruza on the way, and she has a powerful swinging serve.

“I had to have my running shoes on, Barty said as she came off court. I had to make sure I made a lot of returns.”

Meanwhile, sixth seed Petra Kvitova recovered from a scare in the first set to beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 6-2.

After breaking in the opening game of the match, France’s Mladenovic served for the opening set at 5-3 only for Kvitova to break back and win the following three games.

The 26-year-old Czech again dropped serve at the start of the second but fought back immediately to progress in one hour 26 minutes.

American ninth seed Sloane Stephens also eased through with a 6-0 6-2 victory against China’s Wang Yafan.

Nishikori beats Norrie in straight sets

Cameron Norrie endured a Centre Court debut to forget as he was beaten in straight sets by Kei Nishikori. The British number two was playing on a show court at his home grand slam for the first time, but slipped to a 6-4 6-4 6-0 defeat.

Apart from the opening half of the first set, Norrie was unable to compete with the Japanese eighth seed as his best Wimbledon run came to an end. Nishikori looked close to his best as he had Norrie scrambling on both wings and he now meets Steve Johnson in the third round on Saturday.

It might have been different had Norrie been able to take advantage of an early break of Nishikori’s serve, but serving for a 5-2 lead he put in a sloppy game. Nishikori went on to win four games in a row and take the opener in 40 minutes. There were three successive break of serves at the start of the second set, but unfortunately for the home player two of them went to Nishikori and he eased into a 2-0 lead.

Norrie’s spirit had been well and truly broken by the time Nishikori broke in the opening game of the third set. An unscheduled stoppage could not alter the momentum, as the heat coming from the other side of the net was too hot for Norrie to handle.

When the game resumed at 2-0 in the final set, Nishikori rattled through it to seal an impressive win.

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