Tennis

Sassy world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in a hurry at Wimbledon

Wimbledon top seed unfazed despite having to play on Court Two, sends van Uytvanck packing in 54 minutes

Top seed Ashleigh Barty hurried into the Wimbledon third round yesterday, dispatching Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-3 in 54 minutes on the All England Club's distant Court Two.

Barty is the woman of the moment, having just won her first Grand Slam at the French Open.

But she and former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber were consigned to Court Two for their second-round matches, while much lower ranked Britons were scheduled to play on Centre Court.

The Australian, 23, was not going to enter into any controversy, however, saying she was happy to play on any court.

"If I got to play on the (Centre) Court, it would be incredible. One of the most beautiful courts in the world," she said.

"I'll play whenever I'm scheduled. There's not a bad court here at Wimbledon, all special in their own right. They're all very beautiful. I certainly enjoyed playing on Court Two today."

The court certainly did not affect Barty's tennis.

She sprayed winners, including two delicious lobs, and did not allow van Uytvanck into the match until the sixth game of the first set.

NO SLOUCH

Van Uytvanck is no slouch on grass. The Belgian reached the last 16 here last year, upsetting defending champion Garbine Muguruza on the way, and she has a powerful swinging serve.

"I had to have my running shoes on. I had to make sure I made a lot of returns," said Barty, who meets Britain's Harriet Dart next.

Another big name, Petra Kvitova, also progressed to the third round, after a 7-5, 6-2 win over Kristina Mladenovic .

Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, was off court in less than an hour, after romping to a 6-0, 6-2 win over China's Wang Yafan, which took her into round three for the first time since 2016.

Earlier, American 15-year-old Cori "Coco" Gauff showed her stunning first-round win over Venus Williams was no flash in the pan, as she outclassed 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-3.

Her next opponent will be Pocona Hercog, who defeated Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4 yesterday.

In the men's draw, Kei Nishikori joined the likes of Novak Djokovic in the third round, after a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win over Briton Cameron Norrie.

Djokovic dispatched American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. - REUTERS

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