Ana eases into third round

Ana eases into third round

Ana overcame a slow start, a few raindrops and a dangerous opponent as she moved into the third round of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham. The top seed triumphed 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and six minutes.

Playing her first grass court match in almost a year, Ana started sluggishly. Barthel looked strident and she broke in the opening game of the match. She even had a break point to lead 3-0, before Ana began to find her rhythm on the pacy green surface.

Two holds from Ana allowed her to settle, and she called coach Nemanja Kontic onto court while trailing 3-2. His words had the desired effect because she broke back soon after, and began to hit with more purpose and aggression.

The turnaround was complete when Ana broke the German - against whom she had a 1-2 head-to-head record coming into the match - in the 10th game to take the opening set.

By now Ana was in control of the match and she further asserted her superiority by surging into a 3-0 lead, courtesy of a few wicked cross court winners off both the forehand and backhand wings.

The sixth game, at which point Ana led 4-1, proved to be the longest of the match as Ana missed several break point opportunities before eventually adding a second break. She served out confidently to confirm her place in the third round.

Within an hour of the match ending, the rain began to fall heavily. Ana awaits the winner of the Victoria Duval-Lauren Davis all-American clash in round three.