Wimbledon 2021: Top-ranked Ash Barty progresses to second round, defeats Navarro in 3 sets- Top seed Ashleigh Barty was given an unexpectedly tough work-out as she renewed her acquaintance with Centre Court.
The Australian world No.1 seemed to be gliding serenely into the second round, even serving for the match in the second set, before finally triumphing 6-1, 6-7(7), 6-1.
It was always going to be emotional, with Barty’s opponent Carla Suarez Navarro appearing in only her second tournament since announcing her recovery from Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Spaniard looked like she was heading for a hasty exit in a 25-minute first set but dug deep to turn a routine afternoon for Barty into a proper test of her credentials.
Barty still has to make a real impact as a Wimbledon contender. This is her fifth main draw appearance with her best result the round of 16 in 2019 when she lost to Alison Riske of America.
In the end there was no danger of a repeat as Suarez Navarro said her goodbyes to The Championships – she retires at the end of the year. Taking the match to a second set tie-break seemed to drain her energy.
At 5-0 and serving to stay in the match, Suarez Navarro was treated to a huge ovation. The crowd just wanted her to win a game and she did. Barty duly checked out on the first of three match points.