Melbourne – World No 1 Ashleigh Barty made light of windy conditions to reach the Australian Open third round in front of an adoring home crowd on Wednesday.
The French Open champion took just 66 minutes to dismantle Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, winning 6-1, 6-4 without dropping any service games at Rod Laver Arena.
“A clean match today – I’m really happy to get out of that one,” said Barty, who needed three sets to see off Lesia Tsurenko in the first round.
“It was very different end to end, I think the wind was a massive factor particularly with the new ball,” she added.
“Polona’s got the ability to blow you off the court but once I got my opportunities I was able to take them.”
Barty, 23, reached the quarter-finals last year – her best result at the Australian Open, which hasn’t seen a home women’s winner since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
It came at the start of a breakthrough season when she won Roland Garros and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and the US Open, equalling or bettering her best performance at each tournament.
Results on day three of the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Wednesday:
Sam Querrey (USA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x6) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) retired
Guido Pella (ARG x22) bt Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Sara Sorribes (ESP) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1
Anett Kontaveit (EST x28) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-0, 6-2
Iga Swiatek (POL) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-2
Carla Suarez (ESP) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6)
Heather Watson (GBR) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x30) bt Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 6-1, 7-5
Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Elise Mertens (BEL x16) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-2, 6-0
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-1, 6-4
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x29) bt Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-3, 6-4
Alison Riske (USA x18) bt Lin Zhu (CHN) 6-3, 6-1
Julia Goerges (GER) bt Petra Martic (CRO x13) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x25) bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-1, 6-3
Petra Kvitova (CZE x7) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 7-5, 7-5
Naomi Osaka (JPN x3) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-2, 6-4
Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Caty McNally (USA) 6-2, 6-4
Sofia Kenin (USA x14) bt Ann Li (USA) 6-1, 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) bt Dayana Yastremska (UKR x23) 7-5, 7-5