Three games dropped en route to round three: Tactful Ash Barty aims for third Grand Slam title
The world No 1 put in another ruthless performance on Wednesday, reaching the third round of her home Grand Slam for the loss of just three games
World No 1 Ash Barty put on another impressive performance at Melbourne Park, blitzing past Italian qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-0, 6-1 in 52 minutes to reach the third round of the 2022 Australian Open on Wednesday.
Added to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Lesia Tsurenko in the first round, Barty has now dropped just three games to reach the third round at her home Grand Slam.
Playing on Rod Laver Arena, Barty’s serve was a big factor in her second-round win as it has been in many of her matches this year. The Aussie struck eight aces, adding to her five from her first round win, and won 86 percent of her first serve points (while getting 51 percent of her first serves in).
Barty said she had not changed anything specific about her serve during the off-season but continued to work on making it a more strategic weapon in her game.
“Just continually trying to try and make it a weapon. I’m not the biggest girl out there, but I know I’ve got a sound technique and I know if I can get my rhythm right and use it effectively, it can be a weapon. I think Tyz (note: coach Craig Tyzzer)and I put a lot of emphasis on my serve, I always have as a kid. I was always serving baskets and baskets of serves to try to create that weapon, try to create a really sound shot. I think I’ve just been able to find some good rhythm and a big part of that is protecting my second serve when I need to do as well. I thought I’ve done a pretty good job of that over the last half dozen matches or so.”
While both players hit 14 unforced errors in the match, Barty hit 21 winners as compared to only one for her opponent, who is ranked 142nd in the world and who was playing in her first-ever Grand Slam main draw.
The 25-year-old also won five of her six break point opportunities, winning 53 total points in the match to 23 points for her opponent.
“I felt good. I felt like I wanted to try to use my experience a little bit today, get off to a quick start. I felt like I was able to do that. I served well. I was able to find plenty of forehands and control the match quite well, so pleased with that one.”
I have to be able to neutralise and be aggressive when I can, but also be able to accept the fact that not always am I going to have it on my terms.Ash Barty on her next match against Camila Giorgi
After going 4-5 in her first five appearances ay Melbourne Park, Barty has reached two quarter-finals (2019 and 2021) and one semi-final (2020) at her home Major and expectations are rising with every win that she will become the first Australian woman to win at Melbourne Park since Chris O’ Neil in 1978.
Those expectations are not completely misplaced. After taking a break following the US Open in September, Barty, who won Wimbledon in 2021, has returned to the tour with a bang. She won the Adelaide title, dropping just one set in her first match of the season against Coco Gauff. Since then she has won six matches and 12 sets in a row and will aim to make it seven matches and 14 sets in a row when she meets 30th seed Camila Giorgi in the third round.
The Italian defeated Czech Tereza Martincova 6-2, 7-6 and will now aim to defeat the Aussie for the first time in four career meetings. Ash Barty, who defeated Giorgi in the second round of the 2018 Australian Open, knows she will have a tough match against one of the biggest hitters on the women’s tour.
“I think it’s going to be another match with some fresh challenges. She has the ability to hold baseline, to control the center of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return. It’s going to be a match where I’m going to have to serve well, bring in variety, make sure I can cover the court, neutralise the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realising it’s happening.
“But having played her before, she kind of knows my game, I kind of know hers. It’s about going out there and trying to do it as good as I can. A lot of the time the match isn’t on my racquet, to be completely honest. I have to be able to neutralize and be aggressive when I can, but also be able to accept the fact that not always am I going to have it on my terms. That’s an important part of our match-up. I just get on with it and try to bring it back to my tennis as regularly as I can.”
Seeds who lost on Wednesday (2nd round): Bencic (22), Sorribes Tormo (32)
Seeds already out: Kenin (10), Gauff (14) , Kerber (16), Kvitova (20), Fernandez (23)
Seeds who won on Wednesday (2nd round): Barty (1), Krejcikova (4), Sakkari (5), Badosa (8), Osaka (13), Svitolina (15), Pegula (21), Azarenka (24), Ostapenko (26), Kudermetova (28), Giorgi (30)