Ashleigh Barty overcame poor serving performance to make the third round of Wimbledon, while Elina Svitolina‘s upset on Thursday further opened up the women’s singles draw.
Together with second seed Aryna Sabalenka and last year’s Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek, the world No.1 Barty is one of just three Top 10 players still present in the draw, even though it’s only the fourth day of the tournament.
Barty’s second-round performance against Anna Blinkova of Russia wasn’t spectacular, especially her serve. Nine double faults crept into Barty’s game, but the Australian prevailed by winning six of the seven games from a 3-2 deficit in the first set to a 2-0 lead in the second set. The 22-year-old Blinkova won three games in a row to go 3-2 up in the second set, but Barty regained control and won the last four games to seal the match, 6-4 6-3.
Barty scored 33 winners to the same number of unforced errors, while Blinkova outweighed her 12 winners with 21 unforced errors.
Third seed Elina Svitolina became the biggest casualty by seeding so far at Wimbledon 2021, as the Ukrainian fell to Poland’s world No.44 Magda Linette 6-3 6-4 in just 65 minutes. Talking about her second-round loss, Svitolina explained:
There has been really a big race in women’s game where anyone can win any tournament. A lot of good players, doesn’t matter about the ranking, they can challenge you with amazing performance. First, second round, there is all the time tough matches. Everyone is extremely fit. I think it’s also a big step for tennis. Everyone seems like the same level. So I think that’s what’s really changed. It’s like physically everyone is ready to beat you.
Barty better watch out for Katerina Siniakova in the third round. She might just want to clean up those double faults. Actually I am rooting for Siniakova and Barbora Krejčíková to win their respective 3rd round matches to set up the meeting of the two doubles partners in the 4th round. And WOW! What an epic match between Angelique Kerber and Sara Sorribes Tormo that received a 3 minute standing ovation from the crowd afterwards. 80 % of the points lasted more than 9 shots. But Kerber persevered over the ever fighting Spaniard who plays to make her opponent suffer!