Concerning detail emerges in Ash Barty's Wimbledon preparation

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Pictured here, Ash Barty looks on during a match at Wimbledon.
Ash Barty is opting not to play any grass-court lead-up events before Wimbledon as she eases back from a hip injury. Pic: Getty

World No.1 Ash Barty will have to do it the hard way if she's to clinch a second career major at Wimbledon, with the Aussie opting not to play any of the lead-up events as she eases her way back from a hip injury that ended her French Open hopes.

Barty was forced to withdraw during her second round match at Roland Garros earlier this month after battling an injury that even left her physio a little baffled.

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"It's a completely new injury, and something that I've never experienced before," Barty said at the time.

"Even chatting with my physio, not something she has seen regularly either.

"So we've been consulting with people all over the world to try and give us some insight into what the best ways to manage it are, to handle it, and I'm confident we do have a plan.

While her fellow Australians are either seeking to qualify this week or playing in their final warm-up tournaments for the grand slam, the world No.1 has been hitting again at the All England with Wimbledon in her sights.

However, 25-year-old has opted to forgo any of the grass-court tournaments in preparation for Wimbledon, instead deciding to give her body every chance of recovering in time.

It's not unknown for a player to come into sport's biggest event without any tournament preparation on the grass - Novak Djokovic won in 2019 after skipping the grass season - but it is certainly not the optimum way to prepare.

Adamant at the time that there would be no "panic stations" about overcoming the injury setback and returning to action, the Queenslander has completed her five-day quarantine in England and has been practising on the Aorangi Park training courts.

She's been quietly going about her business with only one brief Instagram post eight days ago, showing her going through gentle paces at Wimbledon with the accompanying slogan: "Baby steps."

Barty appeared to be moving relatively freely and there was no sign of the strapping seen on her leg during the recent French Open grand slam.

However, it must be a concerning situation for the Aussie as she looks to add a second grand slam trophy to her breakthrough 2019 French Open triumph.

Alex de Minaur raring to go at Wimbledon

The Aussie's compatriots have a busy schedule in the final week before the tournament proper starts on June 28 at the All England Club with Australian men's No.1 Alex de Minaur confident about his form as he competes in his final warm-up at the Eastbourne International.

Having been beaten by eventual champion Matteo Berrettini in the Queen's Club Championship semi-final, the 22-year-old reckons he's pleased with the state of his game.

"If I play with a little bit of luck in the draw, and me playing some good tennis as I have been, I can do well at Wimby. That's the goal, that's what I'm striving for," said de Minaur, who will go into Eastbourne having regained a career-high equalling spot at No.18 in the world.

Seen here, Alex de Minaur returns a shot against Matteo Berrettini in the final at Queen's.
Alex de Minaur finished runner-up to Matteo Berrettini at Queen's. Pic: Getty

He's been given a bye into the second round and will be definitely joined by another Australian as lucky loser Max Purcell and in-form James Duckworth, who won his final qualifier 6-3 7-6 (7-3) against Briton Alastair Gray on Sunday, meet in Monday's first round.

Alexei Popyrin has been given a tough first round draw in Eastbourne against Queen's Club finalist Cameron Norrie while John Millman will face British wildcard Jay Clarke.

In the women's event at Eastbourne, veteran wildcard Sam Stosur will play Swiss Viktorija Golubic in Monday's first round, but she'll be the only Aussie representative after Ajla Tomljanovic got knocked out in qualifying on Sunday by Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-3 7-5.

Jordan Thompson is finalising his preparations in the Mallorca tournament and started impressively on Sunday, winning his opening round match against Pablo Andujar 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 after saving a match point.

Meanwhile, half-a-dozen Aussie men will be setting out at Roehampton on Monday to try to get through three rounds of qualifying to make it into Wimbledon's main draw a week on Monday.

Matt Ebden, Chris O'Connell, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Bernard Tomic, Aleksandar Vukic and Marc Polmans will all be in action in Monday's opening round. The women's draw has yet to be made.

with AAP

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