TOKYO (Reuters) – Australia’s world tennis number one Ash Barty looked disconnected and out of place on Sunday as she crashed in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics with a stinging loss to 48th Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Barty collapsed 6-4 6-3 to the Spaniard on the Olympic blue courts in Tokyo, in a one-sided game in which the newly crowned Wimbledon champion never settled down.
“Truly disappointing day,” Barty said on the Olympic Channel afterwards.
“And I was pretty erratic. But I’m really excited for the double … (still have a chance) to make everyone proud.”
Barty and Storm Sanders beat Japan’s Makoto Ninomiya and Nao Hibino in the first round of the doubles on Saturday.
But singles were the goal, and Barty hoped to join Steffi Graf (1988) and Venus (2000) and Serena (2012) Williams as the only women to win gold at Wimbledon and the Olympics in singles that same year.
An inept performance made a mockery of that goal.
“Being able to represent Australia at the Olympics is going to be a great experience,” the 25-year-old said after her Wimbledon triumph, but that was anything but, and she left the site speaking only briefly to one. Australian broadcaster. and the Olympic channel.
For 24-year-old Sorribes Tormo, it was a dream come true.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I still can’t believe it. It’s something amazing for me. It’s something I’ve dreamed of all my life, to be here and, more, beat a number one, so, yeah, I’m super, super happy. “
The Spaniard will then face French Fiona Ferro after beating Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 2-6 6-4 6-2.
She said she also looked forward to her doubles match with compatriot Paula Badosa later on Sunday, in stifling conditions that have already troubled players at Ariake Tennis Park.
“We’re here to play, we’re here to enjoy and that’s what we’re going to try to do,” she said.
Trouble started early for Barty, who was broken three times in the first set as she struggled with her serve and made 28 unforced errors just eight behind her Spanish opponent.
Barty showed signs of his characteristic fighting spirit in the second set, getting a break after losing his serve in the opener, but couldn’t keep it up for long.
Leading at 3-2, she failed to convert two more breakpoints as more errors followed.
One last loss in the net and Barty’s Olympic dream was over.
(Reporting by Ossian Shine and Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Karishma Singh and Stephen Coates)