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SportWimbledon: Ashleigh Barty overcomes wobbly start

Wimbledon: Ashleigh Barty overcomes wobbly start

Published: 29th Jun 2021 9:56 pm

London: World No.1-ranked Ashleigh Barty overcame a wobbly stretch to reach the second round at Wimbledon.

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Playing on grass for the first time in two years, Barty defeated Carla Suárez Navarro 6-1, 6-7 (1), 6-1. Barty let the second set get away when she was two points from victory but regained command by winning the first 13 points and five games of the third set. The Australian hit 13 aces and converted all five of her break-point chances.

Suárez Navarro was appearing in only her second tournament since announcing her recovery from Hodgkin lymphoma.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany began his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title with an easy 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 win over Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor at the Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old slammed 20 aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to progress into the second round in 94 minutes.

In the French Open semifinals this month, Zverev had lost to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost his first-round match to American Frances Tiafoe on Monday. Zverev will next face the winner of the match between Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos and American Tennys Sandgren. The German’s best performance at Wimbledon has been a fourth-round finish in 2017.

After Zverev faced an early scare against the Dutchman, fending off two break points in the opening game, the German played explosive tennis from the baseline to power into a 5-1 lead.

Though his Dutch opponent made it 3-5, Zverev closed out on serve, hitting 12 winners in the first set.

Griekspoor found it hard to control his groundstrokes once the roof was closed, frequently firing his forehand long and committing 10 unforced errors in the second set. The 24-year-old Greikspoor, ranked 124th in the world, was making his Wimbledon debut after coming through the qualifiers.

Sebastian Korda is looking good on grass, just like his sister. The 20-year-old American made his Wimbledon debut and upset No. 15-seeded Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5).

Korda’s sister, golfer Nelly Korda, won her first major title last week and is the first American in seven years to reach No. 1 in the women’s world rankings.

Venus Williams has won a match at Wimbledon for the 90th time. She also beat the rain. The 41-year-old Williams advanced to the second round by defeating Mihaela Buzărnescu 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. The match ended moments before a light shower forced an interruption in play on some courts at the All England Club.

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