Ash Barty has stormed to another big US Open win, but only after some late drama and a peculiar sight inside her stadium.
Ash Barty has stormed into the third round of the US Open with another eye-catching display in New York.
The Aussie had to endure some late drama and an eerie reception inside Arthur Ashe Stadium before prevailing with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Danish 18-year-old Clara Tauson.
New York is continuing to recover from a deadly storm and flash flooding and it led to Barty playing in front of an almost empty stadium on Friday morning (AEST).
Remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least eight people and triggered a rare state of emergency for the city, flooding subways and turning roads into rivers.
With abandoned cars scattered across streets near the National Tennis Center and many highways shut down, only a smattering of spectators watched on inside the cavernous centre court at Flushing Meadows.
Barty raced through the first set, but again struggled to fall over the finish line, being broken while attempting to serve out the match — just as she did in her first round victory.
Barty sent a backhand long to surrender a break in the 10th game of the second set while serving for the match and also faced break points serving for the match at 6-5.
She eventually held her nerve to win in 90 minutes.
Despite the strange day at the office, Barty showed where her mental state is at when she casually discussed her white hot form in 2021, describing her year as “bloody good” in her post-match press conference on court.
“I’ve always been quite a calm person,” Barty said. “That’s certainly part of my game.”
However, she also admitted her tendency to play defensively is something she needs to address.
“I got a little bit passive which allowed her back in in the second set,” Barty told ESPN.
“I try and keep my cards close to my chest but I promise I am trying to figure it out in my head,” Barty said.
Barty, who next plays American Shelby Rogers or Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, seeks her third career Grand Slam title, her second in a row after Wimbledon, and her sixth trophy of the year as well as her first US Open quarter-finals appearance.
— with AFP