Wimbledon 2021: Barty defeats Blinkova to reach third round

Barty avoided an exit by overcoming an uncharacteristically unreliable serve. She committed nine double-faults, including three in the first game, and was broken three times. But she also hit 33 winners to 12 for Blinkova.

Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning her second round match against Russia's Anna Blinkova   -  REUTERS

Top-ranked Ash Barty advanced to the third round of a Wimbledon women’s draw depleted of other top contenders by beating Anna Blinkova 6-4, 6-3 Thursday.

No. 3-seeded Elina Svitolina became the latest upset victim, and eight of the top 11 players in the WTA rankings are out of the tournament due to defeat, withdrawal or injury.

Barty avoided an exit by overcoming an uncharacteristically unreliable serve. She committed nine double-faults, including three in the first game, and was broken three times. But she also hit 33 winners to 12 for Blinkova.

“Not my best serving day,” Barty said. “I was just out of rhythm a little bit. Some days you feel like you’re 8 feet tall and you can't miss the box. Other days, like today, you feel like you’re 3-foot-nothing. It's certainly nothing that will concern me over a longer period.”

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Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, needs two more wins to become a Wimbledon quarterfinalist for the first time.

Svitolina lost to Magda Linette of Poland, who earned the biggest victory of her career, 6-3, 6-4. Linette, ranked 44th, had never before beaten a top-15 player in a completed match.

Linette had 28 winners to just eight for Svitolina, a semifinalist at Wimbledon two years ago.

Svitolina said such upsets reflect the state of the women's game.

“Anyone can win any tournament — you know, a lot of good players, doesn’t matter on the ranking, they can challenge you with amazing performance," she said. "First, second round, there are all the time tough matches."

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova extended her winning streak to 14 matches by beating Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-4. Krejcikova seeks to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon back to back.

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A former Wimbledon doubles champion, Krejcikova is making her tournament debut in the singles draw.

In men's play, Britain advanced three men to the third round for the first time in 22 years. Cameron Norrie received a standing ovation on Court 1 when he won to join Andy Murray and Dan Evans in the round of 32 by sweeping wild card Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 7 Matteo Berrettini beat Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4). No. 13 Gael Monfils lost to Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5).

READ: Don't write off Serena yet, says Wilander

American Shelby Rogers matched her best Wimbledon result by reaching the third round when she beat No. 15 Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-4.

No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova swept past Kristyna Pliskova 6-3, 6-3. No. 19 Karolina Muchova and No. 30 Paula Badosa also advanced.

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