Aussie Ash Barty has produced her best performance yet as she marched on into the second week of Wimbledon in emphatic fashion.
Slowly working her way into the grass court season after a troubling shoulder injury that plagued her clay campaign, the World No.1 outplayed the potentially dangerous Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.
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Barty stepped her game up a significant notch after two fairly comfortable, but much more uneven performances against Carla Suarez Navarro and Anna Blinkova.
This was much more like it, with the Australian dominating a potentially tricky opponent and stuttering only briefly with the winning line in sight, when she dropped her delivery for just the second time while serving for the match at 5-4.
After then earning an immediate break back, courtesy of a delightful drop shot-lob combination, Barty made no mistake second time around.
Barty was also delighted to have featured on Centre Court three times, which was asked to her by reporters after the game.
"I've been very spoilt so far, enjoying absolutely every second I've been able to play on Centre Court," said Barty about the rare privilege of being granted three first-week outings there.
"Today's match was a little bit better again with the level. I felt like I was able to control more of the match and kind of bring it back to my patterns more often. I felt like I was able to use my serve effectively today.
"Overall happy with another solid performance, happy to be able to play some good stuff."
Ash Barty recovered from Roland Garros injury
She was also glad her injury rehabilitation routine, following the hip problem which had ruined Roland Garros for her, had worked so well over the first week.
"It's a routine to try to manage my body as best as possible. I feel great. Physically I feel good. I trust my body. I trust my game," she said.
Fans were equally impressed with Barty's improvement with many pointing out the Aussie was flying under the radar.
— Sasha_WTA (@Sasha_WTA) July 3, 2021
that was incredible.
— Danish (@Iq_dani) July 3, 2021
At the second time of asking, Ash Barty serves out a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Siniakova.
She's into the R16 for a second straight year.
That was certainly her most confident performance so far - and it sets up an absolutely fascinating first meeting with Barbora Krejcikova.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) July 3, 2021
There’s hope for the Brits yet though a young lass Emma Raducanu is through to the fourth round at only 18.
Ash Barty is looking really good to me as well, the women’s title totally up for grabs IMO.
— JennyJuniper ❤️ Vaccinated Vixen 💙 (@JennyferJuniper) July 3, 2021
— PAY IT FORWARD 🦘🇦🇺🦅🇺🇸Ελευθερία ή θάνατος🇬🇷 (@Theresa_Lee17) July 3, 2021
Next up for Barty is the dangerous Barbora Krejcikova.
Barty was asked whether her next round opponent, who she has never faced in single's but plenty of times in double's, was a game for the tennis purists.
In humble fashion, Barty said she wasn't sure how to respond to the question.
However, the World No.1 said she would recover and get ready for Manic Monday at Wimbledon.
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