LONDON, Great Britain - Top seed and World No.1 Ashleigh Barty extended her winning streak to 14 matches after dismantling Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets to reach the third round at Wimbledon.
Barty, the reigning French Open champion, came into the Grand Slam fortnight with a triumph at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham - becoming the first Roland Garros champion to win a grass title in the same season since Justine Henin in 2007.
The Aussie’s level on grass has only improved in London, where she’s through to the third round without dropping a set after recording the 6-1, 6-3 victory against Van Uytvanck.
“I think overall today I was just really clear,” Barty told press afterward. “I think I did a really good job with my execution of how we wanted to play. Pretty sharp right from the start. I was able to implement what I wanted to right away and put the pressure straight back on her.”
Barty put on a dominant performance in the opening set, and dropped just five points on her serve in her four service games. She kept Van Uytvanck under pressure throughout, and showed off her doubles skill to shut down the Belgian’s serve and volley with some perfectly placed lobs. Barty earned the break at 2-0 and extended her lead to 4-0 before taking the opening set with confidence, 6-1.
The Aussie continued on a tear in the second, covering the court with ease and employing the full range of her trademark variety to reel off back-to-back breaks of serve to go up 4-1 in the second set.
She faced a late wobble trying to serve it out, though - leading 5-2, Van Uytvanck took advantage of a brief letdown from Barty to grab a break back and extend her stay in the match. But the French Open champion got the job done a game later, breaking Van Uytvanck a final time to advance in just 55 minutes on court.
With the victory, Barty has now equaled her career-best result at Wimbledon, which she achieved in last year’s third-round run.
Up next, Barty awaits the winner between either Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia - who took down former champion Garbiñe Muguruza in first round - or English wildcard Harriet Dart.
“There's an element of danger against everyone you play,” Barty said. “You have to make sure you know exactly how you want to play the match.”