World No.1 Barty suffers shock defeat in first round of Olympics

Published July 25, 2021, 3:58 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty reacts during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s singles first round tennis match against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

World number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out of the Olympics women’s singles tennis tournament in the opening round on Sunday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Barty, the reigning Wimbledon champion, dropped serve twice in each set and made 55 unforced errors compared to just 13 for her opponent.

“It’s an amazing feeling, I still can’t believe it,” said the 48th-ranked Sorribes Tormo, who will go on to face France’s Fiona Ferro in the second round.

“It’s something incredible for me. It’s something that I’ve been dreaming of all my life, being here and even more so beating the world number one. I’m super, super happy.”

While Barty’s bid to become the first Australian singles gold medallist in tennis ended prematurely, she and partner Storm Sanders are through to the second round of the women’s doubles.

Barty could potentially come up against Sorribes Tormo again in the quarter-finals of that competition. Sorribes Tormo and Paula Badosa are in first-round action later on Sunday.

Sorribes Tormo dismissed concerns of playing twice on the same day as the ITF’s extreme weather policy was activated with temperatures again reaching 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo.

The rules call for a 10-minute break, if requested, between the second and third sets once the reading goes above 30.1 Celsius, while changeovers and set breaks have been extended by 30 seconds.

“I’m playing with Paula, who is one of my best friends, and we are super happy to be here. We will enjoy it,” said Sorribes Tormo.

“It doesn’t matter the conditions. We are here to play, we are here to enjoy and that’s what we will try to do.”