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Ashleigh Barty Eliminated From Tokyo Olympics After 1st Round Upset

Ashleigh Barty

Masuike/The New York Times

Ashleigh Barty
(Masuike/The New York Times)

Ashleigh Barty Out Of Tokyo Olympics After 1st Round Upset

The number 1 seeded player in the women’s singles draw, Ashleigh Barty, is out of the competition after facing a tough upset in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics. Barty of Australia, suffered her loss on center court against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4, 6-3.

This upset comes after a successful past 2021 for Barty. She is coming off of winning the Wimbledon Championships last month.

From the beginning of the match, Barty didn’t quite resemble her Wimbledon self, as Tormo broke Barty on her first service game of the match. For most of the first set, Tormo was leading Barty 4-1, until Barty came back a couple of games. After a back and forth dual in the first set, Barty eventually lost 4-6.

From the get-go in the second set, Barty showed signs of flipping the match around. At one point, she was leading 3-2, 40-15, in the second set. However, Tormo managed to come back in the game and tie it up 3-3. Using this momentum, Tormo plowed her way through to win the next three games of the second set, earning her the win.

The world number one played a very inconsistent match, making many unforced errors. In fact, she had a total count of 55 unforced errors across 19 games throughout the match. Her net-play was not at the level it usually is at, and her groundstrokes couldn’t seem to make their way over the net.

Tormo played a much more polished match, making just 13 unforced errors, and hitting 83 percent of her first-serves in. The main factor which led to this upset was Tormo’s heavy use of backhand slices. The slice element threw off Barty’s power playstyle, forcing her to slow the pace of the game. Another contributing factor was Tormo’s defensive play throughout the entire match. She returned Barty’s big shots that almost all other women struggle to return.

This win comes as a major upset as the Spaniard is ranked 48th in the world by the WTA, and has never made it past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament.

As of now, Naomi Osaka of host country Japan is the top-seeded women singles player, and she made her Olympics debut defeating Zheng Saisai of China.

Sara Sorribes Tormo will continue her journey in the singles draw, and will also play on the doubles side of the tournament. Fortunately for Barty, her time in Tokyo is not over just yet, as she also is competing in the doubles tournament.

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