Millennium Post

Barty cruises into 3rd round, beats Belgium's Uytvanck

London: Ashleigh Barty's bid to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year stayed on track with a 6-1, 6-3 second round victory over Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Australian world number one will play either British wild card Harriet Dart or Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia for a place in the last 16.

"I had to make a lot of returns first and foremost and then try and nullify her variety a little bit," she said.

Barty, who if she achieves the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double will be only the eighth woman to do so, said she would switch off from tennis for the moment. "I'm sure there's some cricket on or something," she said in reference to the ongoing World Cup in England where Australia have made the semi-finals.

Barty seized the initiative from the outset on Thursday breaking Van Uytvanck, who had eliminated 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza in the second round of last year's tournament, twice in succession.

She repeated that in the second set and although the 25-year-old Belgian broke Barty when she served for the match, the Australian made no mistake when presented with a match point on her opponent's serve in the following game.

Also easing through was 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens who took the first eight games against her Chinese opponent Wang Yafan before winning 6-0, 6-2.

Stephens, seeded nine, will play either British 19th seed Johanna Konta or Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the next round.

Coco Gauff continued her magical Wimbledon debut on Wednesday when she became the youngest player since 1991 to reach the third round as defending champion Novak Djokovic made the last 32 for the 11th successive year.

Gauff, just 15 and who had to come through qualifying, had already stunned five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round.

She showed that was no fluke as the world number 313 defeated 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 under the new Court One roof. The American schoolgirl is the youngest player in the last 32 since Jennifer Capriati, also 15, went all the way to the semi-finals 28 years ago.

"I played well especially on the pressure points," said Gauff.

"I'm just still shocked that I'm even here. I think I can beat anyone. If I don't think I can win the match then I won't even step on the court."

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