ASHLEIGH Barty is taking nothing for granted as she looks to break her Wimbledon duck and embark on a breakout grand slam run.
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Seeded for the first time at The All England Club, Barty is viewed as a title dark horse after showcasing her grass-court class with title success in Nottingham and a quarter-final appearance at Eastbourne.
The 22-year-old also won the Wimbledon junior crown at 15 and feels she began mastering the art of grass-court tennis early.
“I was very fortunate to have a coach when I was young who taught me all the traditional shots and taught me a pretty traditional game style in a way,” Australia’s top women’s hope said ahead of her first-round clash on Tuesday with Swiss Stefanie Voegele.
“So I feel like when I get on the grass, I can play my best tennis.”
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But without a win in two main-draw attempts either side of her 18-month sabbatical from the sport, Barty is rightfully wary of Voegele.
“I played Stefi in the first round of Nottingham so it’s a tricky first round, but I think it’s a good one because I know I have to play well,” she said. “I know I have to go out there and do all the right things and if I do that, hopefully I get the same result as I did in Nottingham.
“But if I don’t go about it the right way, don’t execute well, it’s a match that she can very much come and beat me.
“I have to go out there and play well.”
The 17th seed is anything but stressed about her unflattering Wimbledon record.
“It’s not like I’ve played here 15 times and haven’t quite got there,” Barty said.
“I’ve had a few tough draws here, to be honest, and felt like I haven’t done too much wrong.
“But I feel like I’m in a different place now. A lot more experienced. “I feel like I know how to go about it around the slams a lot better, know how to plan the days leading in, plan the day of the match.
“It’s certainly a different vibe here at Wimbledon but we’re excited and ready to go.”
Barty is among four Australians in the women’s singles, with 26th seed Daria Gavrilova, up against Kazakh Zarina Diyas, and Samantha Stosur, who plays Peng Shuai, also starting on Tuesday.
Alja Tomljanovic takes on American 10th seed Madison Keys on Monday.