Barty breakthrough beckons at Wimbledon

Ipswich tennis ace Ash Barty will be eyeing a breakthrough moment when she steps onto the court for her round three clash at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Despite her successes on the WTA tour and an impressive rise to world number 17 over the past 18 months, the fourth round of a grand slam remains unchartered territory for the affable 24-year-old.

Her previous best finishes at Wimbledon were second round exits in 2012 and 2017.

This latest campaign has started promisingly though, with straight set wins in rounds one and two.

Barty bounced Swiss Stefanie Voegele in round one 7-5, 6-3 but was made to work considerably harder for her round two 6-4, 7-5 win over Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

Tennis experts say Barty will need to land more first serves and use her speed on the court if she is to win through to the fourth round.

Standing in her way will be 14th-seed Daria Kasatkina from Russia who is also coming off straight set wins in rounds one and two.

Kasatkina beat Jana Fett 6-2, 7-5 in round one and Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-3 in round two.

While the result remains unclear, one thing is certain for Ash Barty’s third round clash and 2018 Wimbledon campaign, and that is the entire city of Ipswich is cheering her on.

Barty has held a special place in the hearts of Ipswich residents ever since stepping onto the court as a youngster.

She began her professional tennis career in 2010 and made her WTA tour debut in 2012, also excelling at cricket during a break away from tennis.

Last year she was presented the Key to the City in recognition of her sporting success and inspiring comeback to the game which saw her rise from being ranked 271 at the start of 2017 to finishing the year as world number 17.

She is widely tipped to break into the top 10 this year.

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