Ashleigh Barty stretches winning streak to a lucky 13
But upsets for Osaka, Venus, Thiem, Tsitsipas and Zverev
Ashleigh Barty's express-train run to the top of the women's game shows no sign of slowing, as the world No. 1 dispatched China's Zheng Saisai 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round at Wimbledon yesterday.
Australian Barty, who followed up her French Open triumph last month by winning in Birmingham, sealed a 13th straight win in a brisk 1hr 16min, battling through the first set before easing through the second.
Barty has never been past the third round at Wimbledon, but her game is well-suited to the slick grass courts and, having dragged herself to the summit of women's tennis, she looks well-placed to challenge for a second Grand Slam title.
While some might feel the weight of expectation coming into a Grand Slam as world No. 1, it seems Barty is relishing the experience.
"It feels incredible. It feels a bit bizarre actually but I'm trying to go about my business in the same way as I always have done," she said.
"You have to enjoy every minute when you're playing at this beautiful tournament."
One opponent she won't have to worry about is world No. 2 Naomi Osaka, whose own bid to win a third Grand Slam title came to a premature end on Monday when she lost to Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the first round.
Monday also saw Cori Gauff, at 15 the youngest ever qualifier for the Wimbledon singles, pull off a major shock, beating one of her idols in five-time champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4.
Gauff later made no bones about her ambitions at the tournament.
"My goal is to win it," she said. "I said this before: I want to be the greatest.
"My dad told me that I could do this when I was eight."
There were also upsets in the men's singles, with two-time French Open champion Dominic Thiem knocked out last night, losing to veteran American Sam Querrey 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 6-0.
On Monday, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, the sixth and seventh seeds respectively, also bowed out.
Greece's Tsitsipas was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 by 89th-ranked Italian Thomas Fabbiano. Germany's Zverev lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely. - REUTERS, AFP