Ashleigh Barty is ready for Wimbledon.
Ashleigh Barty is ready for Wimbledon.

Barty’s Wimbledon assault given green light

Wimbledon's top seeded woman Ashleigh Barty has passed a vital hurdle in her bid to overcome injury and take her place at the prestigious grand slam tournament.

The French Open champion had not picked up a racquet since winning the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham on Sunday, soaring to world No 1.

The Queenslander withdrew from Eastbourne, citing a chronic problem she has managed since she was 16.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia plays a forehand shot.
Ashleigh Barty of Australia plays a forehand shot.

But, after three days' rest, Barty showed no sign of discomfort as she trained in brilliant sunshine at the Aorangi practice annex for an hour with coach Craig Tyzzer.

She then moved to court 18 - one of Wimbledon's larger outside courts - and worked with Ben Mathias.

Asked how Barty's arm is, Tyzzer said: "All good, it's fine."

Barty is the first Australian to top Wimbledon's women's seedings in 46 years.

Margaret Court was the last Australian female in 1973 to sit atop the Wimbledon draw.

Margaret Court with the Wimbledon trophy in 1970
Margaret Court with the Wimbledon trophy in 1970

The grand slam record-holder was eliminated in the semi-finals by Chris Evert while eventual champion Billie Jean King ousted third seed Evonne Goolagong in the other semi.

Until Barty's elevation, Goolagong held the honour of being the last Australian woman to head a grand slam draw - at the 1977 December edition of the Australian Open.

Lleyton Hewitt was top seed and defending champion at Wimbledon in 2003, when ambushed in the first round by Ivo Karlovic.

Barty is the only Australian woman seeded this year, while Alex de Minaur is 25th seed in the men.

Tonight's draw will be critical to the chances of both.