Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty is top seed at a major for the fifth time in her career
Venue: All England Club Dates: 28 June-11 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details here

World number one Ashleigh Barty ground out a second-round win over Anna Blinkova as the Wimbledon draw opened up further for her with the exit of third seed Elina Svitolina.

Barty’s serve was error-strewn but she dug deep to secure a 6-4 6-3 win.

She has reached the Wimbledon third round for the third successive tournament and will play Czech Katerina Siniakova.

But Ukraine’s Svitolina is out, beaten 6-3 6-4 by Magda Linette.

There are now just three top-10 players remaining in the draw – Barty, second seed Aryna Sabalenka and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek.

Barty was broken twice in an opening set in which she made five double faults, but she fought back to win four games in a row at the end of the first set and into the second.

While her serve did not improve, her attacking prowess powered her through, despite more unforced errors allowing Blinkova to break once again.

But Barty’s movement allowed her to take control, clinching another break on the backhand before navigating an eight-minute game to hold.

She broke Blinkova again on the Russian’s final service game to win but was full of praise for her opponent.

“We had to do a lot of homework to try to figure out her game,” said Barty. “She played a great match today – a few points here and there and it could have been a different story.

“I’m happy to be able to get through and get another opportunity to play.”

Women’s draw wide open (again!)

In a manner that has become familiar at recent Grand Slams, the Wimbledon women’s draw has become wide open.

Fourth and fifth seeds Sofia Kenin and Bianca Andreescu exited the Championships on Wednesday, while sixth seed Serena Williams was forced to retire from her first-round match on Tuesday with an injury.

The tournament was already without world number two and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and defending champion Simona Halep, the world number three.

Tenth seed and two-time champion Petra Kvitova and Swiss ninth seed Belinda Bencic lost in the first round.

“I think there been a lot of talk about that that for the past two years there has been really a big race in women’s game where anyone can win any tournament,” Ukrainian Svitolina said after her defeat.

“A lot of good players, doesn’t matter about the ranking, they can challenge you with amazing performance. First, second round, there is all the time tough matches.

“Everyone is extremely fit. I think it’s also a big step for tennis. Everyone seems like the same level. So I think that’s what’s really changed. It’s like physically everyone is ready to beat you.”

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