Ashleigh Barty won her Wimbledon second round match in straight sets.© AFP
Ashleigh Barty’s bid to win the Wimbledon singles title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first victory stayed on course on Thursday. However, Barty produced a far from perfect performance in her 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia’s Anna Blinkova as she progressed to a third round meeting with Czech Katerina Siniakova. “She pushed me incredibly hard,” said Barty. “A few points here and there it could have been a different story.”
Barty is seeded to meet this year’s French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the last 16.
Krejcikova brushed aside second round opponent German veteran Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-4.
Barty is popular on Centre Court but nothing compared to Coco Gauff due to her exploits aged 15 in 2019 reaching the Last 16 as a qualifier.
‘Coco Mania’ has not diminished on Centre Court despite a two-year hiatus and the 17-year-old did not let the crowd down with a 6-4, 6-3 win over former semi-finalist Elena Vesnina.
“It feels like I have changed and grown a lot,” said Gauff.
“Two years ago not many people knew my name at least before I beat Venus and now it (Wimbledon) feels more like home.”
Two fewer seeds will be standing in Barty’s way as she looks to add the senior singles title to her 2011 junior Wimbledon win.
Third seed Elina Svitolina, a Wimbledon semi-finalist two years ago, said she needs a rest after losing 6-3, 6-4 to Poland’s Magda Linette.
“I think mentally today I was not really in a good place,” said Svitolina.
Frenc Open sem-finalist Maria Sakkari, the 15th-seeded Greek, lost to Shelby Rogers of the United States 7-5, 6-4.
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