Wimbledon: World No.1 Ashleigh Barty downs Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova wins

The Australian survives a second-set surge by the 32-year-old Spaniard to claim a spot in the second round of Wimbledon.

Ashleigh Barty and Carla Suarez Navarro after their match; Credit: [email protected]

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty was stretched to the limits, but the Australian prevailed over Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets. She survived a second-set surge by the 32-year-old Spaniard to claim a spot in the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 victory on Tuesday. It was top seed Barty’s first meeting with former World No.6 Suarez Navarro, and it came at an emotional time for the Spaniard. The 32-year-old aims to retire at the end of the season, making this her final Wimbledon appearance. Besides, it was Suarez Navarro’s second match since her return from successful treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She made her comeback at Roland Garros but lost a thrilling three-setter to Sloane Stephens in the opening round.

Barty finished the match with 37 winners to 12 from Suarez Navarro. Furthermore, the Australian converted all five of the break points she held on her way to victory in an hour and 43 minutes. The 25-year-old started quickly and was at her lethal best from the word go. The Centre Court roof was closed due to rain during the fourth game of the match. The 15-minute pause did not affect Barty in any way as she came back and gained a break to lead 3-1. She saw out the set with little difficulty from that point onwards.

Fightback

The second set was a toe-to-toe battle and there was little to separate them both. At 4-4, Barty’s powerful returns gave her a break and an opportunity to serve out the match at 5-4. But the Spaniard was in no mood to give up as she promptly broke back, dramatically taking the set into a tiebreak. Suarez Navarro won the set in an emphatic fashion to take the match into a decider.

Barty regrouped and came back strongly with all guns blazing, picking off the first 13 points of the third set on her way to a commanding 5-0 lead. Suarez Navarro did win a game, but it was too little and too late as Barty closed out the match with a forehand winner. Barty will next play either Timea Babos or Anna Blinkova.

Pliskova wins

No.8 seed Karolina Pliskova survived a tricky first-round clash at Wimbledon earlier on Tuesday. She defeated Roland Garros semifinalist Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, 7-5, 6-4 in a tightly-fought contest. Former World No.1 Pliskova took an hour and 17 minutes to win the match in the first meeting between the pair. Pliskova slammed ten aces, won 82 percent of her first-service points, and converted all three of the break points she held.

Zidansek was playing her first match since a terrific run to her maiden major semifinal in Paris recently. A break by Zidansek helped her build a quick 3-0 lead. But when serving for the set at 5-3, the Slovenian was unable to maintain the momentum as Pliskova broke her serve by forcing an error with a forehand. With momentum on her side, the Czech player went on to win the set with back-to-back aces.

Pliskova started the second set on the front foot, getting a break for 3-2. Zidansek made a mini-comeback, but once Pliskova saved a break point in the next game, the sailing was smooth for the Czech player as she won the set and match. She will next play former Top 20 player Donna Vekic of Croatia who eased past Anastasia Potapova of Russia, 6-1, 6-4.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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