Ash Barty reinforced her current invincibility on clay as the Australian won a 13th consecutive dirt match on Saturday to reach the third round of the Madrid Masters.
The world No. 1 who claimed last week’s title in Stuttgart, outlasted 80th-ranked Slovene Tamara Zidansek 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Barty improved to 22-3 on the season with the two-hour victory which included nine aces.
The winner was not well-pleased with her performance: “It was a really tough match right from the get-go.
“I did a pretty good job in the first set to nullify a few break points, and over time worked my way into her service games.
“But my margins were a little bit off today, I made a lot of errors. Missing by a foot or two here or there makes a big difference.
“I felt like there were probably too many loose ones (errors) for me today.”
While the 2019 Roland Garros champion is unlikely to name clay as her favourite surface, Barty has become comfortable on the “foreign” surface.
“Each week we change surfaces, each week we change conditions. I just try and adapt as quickly as I can and feel as comfortable as I can every time I step on the court.”
Barty will next clash with the woman who replaced her as French Open champion, Iga Swiatek, after the Polish teenager put out German Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3.
“This will be the first time the first time we will play,” the Australian top seed said.
“She’s got a seriously impressive game: moves very well on the clay court, can slide off both legs, controls her body really well on clay.
“It’s a challenge with a really clean slate, there will be a period of trying to figure each other out and seeing just how our games match up. I look forward to it.”