PARIS, France - No.8 seed Ashleigh Barty is through to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in her career after dispatching Danielle Collins in straight sets.
The Australian No.1 came into the clay Grand Slam on the back of career-best results in 2019, and sitting at a new career-high ranking. After starting the season with a quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open, Barty went on to lift the biggest title of her career at Miami, and reached the quarterfinals in Madrid - her best clay result.
On Thursday in Paris, Barty looked full of confidence as she stepped out onto Roland Garros’ Court 1, the ‘bullring’ arena to face Collins. It was the pair’s were second meeting of this season after Barty’s three-set triumph over Collins a few weeks ago in Madrid, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.
After edging through a tight first set, it was all Barty in the second. The Aussie sealed her 7-5, 6-1 victory with an emphatic ace after a tough, one hour and 20-minute battle to claim her third-round place at the French Open.
The pair were evenly matched for most of the opening set, both very entertaining players who enjoy quite a bit of variety in their game. The pair traded breaks twice in the first set, with Collins earning the first one to go up 2-1 and Barty erasing her lead a game later. Then, it was Barty who opened up a 4-2 lead and Collins rallying to level at 4-4.
The next four games in a row went to the server, with Barty applying more pressure on the return against Collins. It finally paid off as Barty successfully avoided a tiebreaker, edging ahead to seal the decisive break and take the opening set 6-4.
Dropping the opening set seemed to take the wind out of Collins’ sails, and Barty bossed proceedings in the second. Barty reeled off five games in a row to create a double break lead, not allowing the American to find a foothold in the rallies. An ace to finish - her fourth of the match - secured the victory for Barty, as well as her first-ever third round berth at Roland Garros.
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Up next, Barty now awaits the winner between No.25 seed Hsieh Su-Wei and Andrea Petkovic as she seeks a spot in the fourth round.
More to follow…