The US Open is officially underway and in true World Champion form, Ash Barty has kicked off her campaign with a 6-1 7-6 win over Russian Vera Zvonareva in just 88 minutes.
The second set left the 25-year-old frustrated when an electronic line-calling system crashed on Arthur Ashe Stadium, causing a stoppage to the match.
Barty questioned the delay and offered up a simple solution to get the play back up and running.
“Could you do that? You couldn’t do that, just bring out linespeople?” Barty asked.
A group of linespeople are reportedly on standby as part of a contingency plan for the rollout of the electronic system.
But they are said to be reserved for more serious and long-lasting malfunctions.
Play has been suspended on Arthur Ashe due to an issue with the electronic line-calling system.
Ash Barty is shaking her head & asking if they can bring out, you know, the humans that used to do it?
The answer, unsurprisingly, is no. pic.twitter.com/RvCBxMMlXA
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) August 31, 2021
Despite the stoppage, Barty pulled through and smashed 11 aces over the match, including a tour-best 300th of the year.
“It obviously got really tense in that second set — tight — and in the bigger moments I was able to be aggressive and trust myself and that was a massive thing today,” Barty said after the match.
“There were a couple of games where I had lapses in concentration but I was able to come through in straight sets and now we go back to the drawing board, work on a few things and we’ll be as happy as Larry. I’m certainly happy to be through and playing again here in New York.
“All in all, being able to work my way around that and get through that in straight sets was really pleasing. When my back was against the wall late in that buster, I came up with some really good stuff. That’s all we can ask.”
Barty is in high spirits after her recent win at Cincinnati and is chasing back-to-back Grand Slam titles after her historic win at Wimbledon.
Barty will move on to play Danish 18-year-old Clara Tauson in the second round on Friday, with the time yet to be determined.
By Teisha Cloos