Ashleigh Barty defeated Maria” sharapova> in straight sets to reach the Cincinnati Open third round. The Australian player said: “I knew I was a little bit underdone going into Toronto and certainly had no worries or concerns there.
I feel like I have been striking the ball really well over the last seven or eight days. I found my groove a little bit more. Had a great session yesterday and felt a lot more comfortable where I am at and how I was striking the ball.
Then it was just going out there trying to execute playing against one of the best competitors of the world and making sure I had to be there present and ready for every single point.” Asked about how it feels to face such a great player like Sharapova, Barty said: “I hope she says, ‘I’m playing Ash Barty.’
No, obviously, it’s an honor and privilege to be able to play champions and legends of our game, but, you know, once the coin toss is done, you forget about that and certainly don’t play the reputation of the person.
You play the person on the other side of the net.” On her next match against Anett Kontaveit, Barty concluded: “Very clean game. Very strong game across the board. There aren’t too many flaws in her game at all.
I think she’s a great ball striker. When she’s inside the court and in control can be very dangerous. I think for me it’s important to try and bring in my variety as much as I can, make sure I move well and make her play a lot of balls and try and spread the court as much as possible.
Also accepting she’s having one of the best years of her life and is playing some really good tennis. It will be tough either way, but it’s about going out there and approaching it the right way regardless of the result, just trying to do the best that I can.”