The women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty has so far justified her ranking at Wimbledon as she prepares for today’s quarter-final clash with fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic.
Barty has had a comfortable time at the All England Club since being taken to three sets by Carla Suárez Navarro in the first round. The rest of her matches so far have been won in straight sets and she is improving game by game and looks to be hitting her stride at just the right time.
With such performances comes added pressure, and the 25-year-old is currently the favourite for the Wimbledon title, meaning there’s perhaps a slightly bigger weight on her shoulders than anyone else in the last-eight of the women’s singles draw. Her performances have been outstanding though, and every time she has found herself in a ditch this tournament, she has managed to lift herself out of it.
Barty’s impressive straight-set victory over the French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova on Monday showcased her quality as she reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time in her career. She does not shy away from any opponent and has shown great composure in each round since her opener with Navarro.
The Australian will have a significant following back home as it is 50 years since her compatriot and mentor, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, won her first Wimbledon title. Barty, with permission from Cawley, has worn a scallop dress in tribute to the anniversary of Cawley’s triumph at SW19.
The quarter-final between Barty and Tomljanovic will be a moment to savour, as it will guarantee at least one Australian in the semi-final for the first time since 2000. With this being her first time past the fourth round, Barty is in unprecedented territory and will face her toughest challenge on the grass court.
The 2019 French Open champion will be looking to carry the momentum she has amassed in her recent rounds into this quarter-final as she looks to reach a more significant milestone than just reaching the last-eight for the first time.
She will need to ignore the pressure that is already placed on her shoulders and carry on playing at the intense, high standard she has set herself so far at the All England Club. Barty has already shown her composure in sticky situations and that has allowed her talent to shine through and carry her to this highly-anticipated quarter-final.
She has proved her ranking with some excellent tennis this past week and there have been signs that she could capitalise on her excellent form and mark Cawley’s anniversary with a Wimbledon title of her own.