No. 1 Ash Barty wins on No. 1 Court at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England — Ash Barty played her first match as the No. 1 player in the world on No. 1 Court at Wimbledon, and she won.
The top-seeded Australian, who followed her victory at the French Open by winning a grass-court warm-up tournament in Birmingham, advanced to the second round at the All England Club on Tuesday by winning her 13th straight match. She beat Zheng Saisai 6-4, 6-2.
“It feels incredible,” Barty said about playing at Wimbledon as the top-ranked woman. “It’s a little bit of a bizarre feeling, to be honest. But I just try and go about my business the exact same way.
“This hallowed turf that we do get to play on is sacred, it’s beautiful. And you have to enjoy every minute.”
Defending champion Angelique Kerber also advanced, beating Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-3 on Centre Court.
Both Barty and Kerber are in the same quarter of the women’s draw, which means they could meet in the quarterfinals. Seven-time champion Serena Williams is also in that same quarter.
The combative and combustible Nick Kyrgios advanced to the second round despite winning only five points in the fourth set. The unseeded Australian beat Jordan Thompson 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (10), 0-6, 6-1.
Kyrgios took a medical timeout after the second set and a trainer came on court to examine his left side. He then won the third set in a tiebreaker — a set which took 1 hour, 16 minutes to complete.
The fourth set, however, lasted only 18 minutes as Thompson won 24 points while Kyrgios took only five.
Later, Williams will renew her bid for her 24th Grand Slam title and eighth at Wimbledon with a Centre Court match against Giulia Gatto-Monticone of Italy.
Williams lost in the final at the All England Club to Kerber last year.
Also, eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was playing Lloyd Harris, while Rafael Nadal was to face Yuichi Sugita.