The Jerusalem Post

Barty wins Blinkova battle • Djokovic, Federer Olympics bound


LONDON (Reuters) – World No. 1 Ash Barty moved into the third round at Wimbledon but not without a battle as she overcame spirited Russian Anna Blinkova and her own inconsiste­ncy in a 6-4, 6-3 win on Thursday.

The top seed never looked in danger against the 89th-ranked Blinkova, but it was still not plain sailing for the Australian scrapper.

Her serve, so often a dependable weapon, was at times wayward, as she hit nine double faults and was broken three times, while her 33 unforced errors suggests she has some way to go to get fully sharp on the grass.

Barty, whose sole Grand Slam title came at the 2019 French Open, has never gone beyond the last-16 at Wimbledon.

No. 5 Elina Svitolina, seeded third, was beaten 6-3 6-4 in the second round by Poland’s Magda Linette, meaning that six of the top 10 seeds have already departed in the women’s draw.

In men’s action, fourth seed Alexander Zverev moved smoothly into the third round with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win over American Tennys Sandgren.

Meanwhile, men’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer were both named on the list of players for the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday – a boost for a tournament hit by high-profile withdrawal­s.

Barty and Japan’s Naomi Osaka head the field in the women’s singles.

A first-time gold-medal winner is assured in the women’s singles with Puerto Rico’s defending champion Monica Puig unable to compete because of injury.

Two-time champion Andy Murray, whose ranking has slipped to 118 as he battles to come back from hip surgery, will be aiming to win gold for the third Olympics in succession.

Djokovic, who is bidding at Wimbledon to match Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record Grand Slam haul, won a singles bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when Federer won doubles gold.

An Olympic singles gold is the one major prize that still eludes the two players who are vying, along with Nadal, to be considered the greatest of all time.

A total of 46 nations will be represente­d at the Olympic tennis event which will be held at the Ariake Tennis Park from July 24 until August 1.

Several big names will not be traveling to Tokyo including former singles and doubles gold-medalistNa­dal, four-time gold-medalist Serena Williams, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and Romanian twotime Grand Slam winner Simona Halep.

On TV: Wimbledon mid-round action (live on Sport5 from 1 p.m. over weekend).

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