Barty cruises into third round

Ashleigh Barty has extended her unbeaten run to six consecutive wins as the world No. 1 dispatched Slovenian Polona Hercog to vault into the Australian Open's third round.

In command from the outset, the top seed swept to a confidence-boosting 6-1 6-4 success despite Hercog's second-set resistance.

"I had a clean match today and really happy to get out of that one," Barty said.

"The wind played a massive factor, particularly with new balls. Polona can hit you off the court but I was glad to take my opportunities."

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Preparing to next face either Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina or Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, Barty hit 16 winners to Hercog's 12, but was much cleaner off the ground with only 16 unforced errors to Hercog's 30.

So often the barometer of her confidence, Barty's serving was much improved from her first-round struggle against Lesia Tsurenko.

The Queenslander, who is using research on the "forever home" she intends to build as a distraction to Open pressure, hit five aces, and lost only seven points on serve and didn't drop serve in the 66-minute romp.


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