Ashleigh Barty Wimbledon 2021

‘The serve and forehand of Ash Barty will win her this title,’ says Mats Wilander

Ash Barty is starting to feel like the favourite to lift the US Open title and can handle that pressure, according to former world number one Mats Wilander. 

The Australian made a faultless start to beat former US Open finalist Vera Zvonereva in straight sets 6-1, 7-6(7) and set up a second round clash with Dane Clara Tauson.

Following her commanding victory, which extended her winning streak to six matches after winning in Cincinatti, Wilander praised the risk-averse style of the Australian.

“Ash Barty will never, ever beat herself by risking too much when she is winning,” said Wilander.

“I like it when she plays like that – giving her opponent the chance to prove to her that she can beat her because when you do, she will step up her game again. In the end, I think it was a good win for Ash Barty.”

The seven-time Major winner also believes the Wimbledon champion faces a tougher challenge at the US Open than the two previous Slams, as the sliced backhand is more effective on both the clay and the grass.

“Hard courts I think are the most difficult surface for her because obviously the sliced backhand is good on any surface but it’s better on clay and it’s better on the grass,” added Wilander.

“On hard courts, these players are hitting the ball so clean and so big that a low sliced backhand doesn’t bother players that much these days. So she has to add the variety.

“In the end, it’s the serve and the forehand that’s going to win her this title. I do feel that with every match, winning Cinci, that she is starting to feel the favourite. She can handle the pressure.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.