‘She never drops her level’ – Former WTA star explains what makes Ashleigh Barty so formidable

Jo Konta believes sheer consistency is what makes Ashleigh Barty so good, saying: ‘she very rarely has dips.’

Barty beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1 to move into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, meaning she has dropped just three games in her two matches so far.

Bigger tests are sure to follow, but former British number one Konta knows exactly how hard Barty is to beat.

“I don’t think I ever beat Ash so she definitely got the better of me when I was playing,” Konta told Eurosport.

“Without stating the obvious, there is her variety and ability to mix things up but what impresses me the most is her consistency – not just not missing but her level of focus and application every point.

“She very rarely has dips, matches have ebbs and flows but her matches are so consistent and so level which asks her opponent to play at that high level which she has consistently which is very hard to do.”

The pressure will be on Barty to deliver the Australian Open title in her homeland, and Konta thinks she is very well-positioned to do just that.

However, there is one player she believes Barty should be very wary of as the tournament progresses.

Konta said: “I do think Naomi Osaka can cause Ash Barty problems. Ash is in her comfort zone a little more when she does have a bit more time, a bit more time to get around to that forehand and Naomi plays incredibly fast and incredibly quick.

“I think that does present some challenges for Ash but I do think, overall, Ash is in better form so I would still pick Ash in that match-up. But Naomi on a good day she is incredible.”

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