Ashleigh Barty into Nature Valley Classic second round in Birmingham

Ruben Hill
June 20, 2019

French Open champion Ash Barty has picked up where she left off on clay with a strong win to open her grass-court season in Birmingham.

Kristyna Pliskova will take on another Czech player next as she faces Barbora Strycova for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Barty's match against Vekic was one of several to be postponed when play was suspended because of rain on Tuesday.

Barty wobbled slightly as she failed to serve out for the match at 5-2 up in the second, but made amends in her next service game to set up around two clashes with American Jennifer Brady.

"I felt really good with my feet on the grass".

However, Barty insists she is not yet feeling any strain of being a Grand Slam champion.

"I do find it quite easy", she said. I'm still the same Ash Barty and I try and prepare the same way.

Elsewhere, in the draw, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams overpowered Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 6-4 and 2017 French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko beat British No.1 Johanna Konta.

Awaiting Ostapenko in the quarterfinals will be Margarita Gasparyan, who backed up her win over No.4 seed Elina Svitolina with another win over French Open quarterfinalist Petra Martic.

Venus Williams progressed to round two as the 39-year-old eased past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 6-4.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article