Ashleigh Barty can continue her great run of form on Saturday, taking on Harriet Dart for a spot in the last 16 at Wimbledon. The new World No.1 is now on a 14 match winning streak, dating back to the start of the French Open. With Serena Williams in suspect form and Angelique Kerber out the competition, the once daunting draw looks a little less scary for the Aussie.
With many often critical about the choice of British wildcards, the LTA will be delighted with the success of Dart in making the third round. She has toughed out two great three set wins, beating Christina McHale and Beatriz Haddad Maia with the latter coming off a shock win against Garbine Muguruza. It is an improvement from her grass warmups, where she went 1-3 across Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne. “I think I’m just learning from all these experiences that I’m having this year. Everything is still pretty new for me. Again, this is my second Wimbledon. I’m still finding my feet. I’m definitely proving that my tennis is definitely right up there with the level.” she said afterwards.
Barty has been dominant through two rounds, showing why she is the World No.1 right now. She beat Alison Van Uytvanck on Thursday, with only a slight wobble at the end making the 6-1 6-3 scoreline a little more generous than it could have been. “I think I did a really good job with my execution of how we wanted to play. Pretty sharp right from the start. I was able to implement what I wanted to right away and put the pressure straight back on her.” Barty said on the match afterwards.
This match should be quite the step up for Dart, who will be hoping to avoid the same fate she faced the last time she played a one-time WTA No.1. She didn’t win a single game against Maria Sharapova in their opening round clash in Australia this year.
Prediction – Ashleigh Barty in straight sets