Ashleigh Barty is taking part in down her standing as Wimbledon title favorite as she enters uncharted waters because the world No.1, prime seed and newly topped French Open champion.
Barty’s spectacular rise on the again of a tour-best three titles and a 12-match successful streak has vaulted the Australian to the highest of betting markets.
Bookmakers have relegated the good Serena Williams, who’s chasing an eighth crown at London’s SW19, defending champion Angelique Kerber and twin winner Petra Kvitova to put in Barty because the participant to beat.
The stylish all-courter made a seamless transition from clay to grass, becoming a member of Williams and fellow grand slam giants Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Margaret Court docket and Justine Henin as the one ladies to win the French Open and the subsequent match performed on British lawns.
However, true to type, the understated Queenslander is taking part in down the hype.
“I don’t know if I’m the favorite for Wimbledon. I believe I have to attempt to get by way of this primary spherical in the beginning,” Barty mentioned forward of her championship opener towards world No.43 Zheng Saisai on Tuesday.
“Saisai has unbelievable skills to match up on a grass court docket.
“She has finished nicely right here prior to now. She has acquired a superb slice backhand, the kick serve that can react nicely off the courts.
“She loves taking part in on the grass courts. It’s a troublesome first-round match, one which I do know I’ll must be prepared for.
“That’s type of the right begin for me, making an attempt to verify I’m actually switched on for that first-round match, making an attempt to do the perfect that I can.”
Barty mentioned she was able to go after arriving on the All England Membership underneath a health cloud following her withdrawal from the Eastbourne Worldwide to relaxation bone stress in her over-used serving arm.
“Yeah, it’s been good. It’s been a very good couple of days,” she mentioned.
“It was good to remain off the court docket for a couple of days, began hitting once more on Thursday.
“So far as we’re going, all the pieces has type of labored out nicely with monitoring our masses, all these type of issues. So feeling good.”
Bidding to turn into Australia’s first Wimbledon champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 and first Aussie girl since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980, Barty is in a loaded prime quarter of the draw alongside 4 former world No.1s and 4 former champions – together with Williams and Kerber.
However she is focusing solely on Zheng.
“I haven’t regarded on the draw,” mentioned Barty, dismissing the notion that the grass-court slam boasted much less contenders than different majors due to the troublesome floor.
“There are clearly women which might be extra comfy on grass courts, women which have performed on them much more, however there are nonetheless all the time going to be some upsets rankings-wise.
“There are all the time going to be some outcomes that individuals don’t count on, however that’s the character of the beast.
“That occurs each single match, whether or not on onerous court docket, grass court docket or clay. That occurs each match.”
Victory over Zheng would progress Barty to a second-round match on Thursday towards both former French and US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova or Alison Van Uytvanck.