A “nervous” Ash Barty has come from behind to win the first set in her Wimbledon second round match after she served three double faults in her opening service game.
It was an alarmingly slow start from the top seed, who lost nine of the first 14 points as Russian Anna Blinkova rushed out to an early 2-0 lead.
From there the first set was a seesawing rollercoaster with five breaks of serve in the first nine games.
The 25-year-old finally kicked into gear after the opening exchanges and went ahead with a break at 4-3 in the first set. The Aussie went on to serve it out 6-4 in 42 minutes.
Barty was able to take the lead despite appearing completely out of sorts.
Her biggest problems were on serve where she landed just 56 per cent of her first serves in the court. She also hit 18 unforced errors.
Barty’s troubles were even more severe earlier in the opening set.
She looked to have a bad case of the jitters early and Aussie tennis great Jelena Dokic said in commentary for Channel 9 she was surprised to see Barty looking so uncomfortable.
Ash Barty wasn’t feeling it early.Source:AFP
“You don’t really see that from Ash,” she said.
“Her timing is not there. She looks rushed.”
Aussie tennis great Todd Woodbridge said the world No. 1 was “nervous” and described her opening set as “sloppy”.
Woodbridge had earlier said Blinkova was a “nicer, cruisier” contest for Barty compared to her first round win — but it looked anything but early.
Barty is on a mission to land the Wimbledon singles title on the 50th anniversary of her mentor and fellow Indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first crown.
Barty earlier this week handled the emotion of Carla Suarez Navarro’s return to tennis after cancer treatment to move through to the second round with a 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 win.
Barty was all class, standing and applauding her opponent as she walked off the court to a thunderous reception.
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