Cameras catch Ash Barty in staggering act before US Open victory

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Ash Barty, pictured here on the practice court with Iga Swiatek before her victory in the second round of the US Open.
Ash Barty hit the practice court with Iga Swiatek before her victory in the second round of the US Open. Image: Twitter/Getty

Ash Barty has advanced to the third round of the US Open, but not before a practice hit with one of her biggest rivals.

Barty saw off a spirited challenge from teenage prodigy Clara Tauson on Thursday to move into the third round at Flushing Meadows.

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There were glimpses of Barty's first-round struggles against Vera Zvonareva before the World No.1 closed out a 6-1 7-5 win.

Just hours before Barty stepped out on court for her clash with Tauson, she took to the practice court for a routine hit.

However she stepped things up a notch when she invited one of her biggest challengers at the US Open to practice with her - 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek.

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Barty often practices against her rivals during grand slams, as we saw when she took on Naomi Osaka in a session at the French Open.

Barty and Swiatek also practiced together before the US Open, with Swiatek revealing how she's learning a thing or two from the Aussie champ.

"It's really inspiring," Swiatek told the WTA website.

"Practicing with Ash is different because you can see her mentality and the way she treats things. When she makes a mistake, she's not frustrated. She doesn't seem to. Even when she is frustrated she uses it to play better and better.

"So I'm trying to learn from her. I think I need a few more years to understand completely how to get there. But she's a great player to watch and take some lessons from her."

Hopefully for Barty she doesn't give away too many secrets.

Ash Barty advances amid eerie scenes in New York

The remnants of Hurricane Ida that swept through the northeast of America and killed at least 25 people in New York delayed some matches on day four by an hour.

Making her Open debut, Tauson came out intent on slowing Barty's progress too.

It took the Aussie star 10 break points in a marathon 13-minute second game to break Tauson and stamp her authority.

The Wimbledon champion then raced to a 5-0 lead before the 18-year-old former world junior No.1 found her rhythm and range.

Ash Barty, pictured here in action against Clara Tauson at the US Open.
Ash Barty in action against Clara Tauson at the US Open. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Just as she did against Zvonareva, Barty faltered trying to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set.

But she avoided a tie-breaker by breaking the Dane for a fifth time to clinch victory on her third match point.

"There's room for improvement, without a doubt, but there's room for improvement every single day," Barty said after mixing 11 aces with two double faults and two dropped service games.

"Credit to her, she was a little bit more aggressive in that second set. I got a little bit passive and just let my energy drop and allowed her back in.

"We'll go back and have a chat about the matches and, once we get back on the practice court, try and fix a few things up, trust myself and trying to continue to play how I want to play."

Barty will return in two days attempting to reach the last 16 in New York for a third-straight time.

As for Swiatek, she had to survive a huge upset bid and held on to beat Fiona Ferro 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-0.

with agencies

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