Ash Barty plans on upping the ante when she shoots for a place in the US Open second week on Sunday.
Australia’s world No.1 faces Shelby Rogers for a sixth time – and fourth time this year – boasting an undefeated record against the American.
But while chuffed to be in the third round once again in New York, after skipping last year’s event during her pandemic hiatus, Barty is intent on stepping up her game after two patchy wins over Vera Zvonareva and Clara Tauson.
“Chipping away in these first two matches has been good,” Barty said.
“The tennis hasn’t been as clean as it was a couple weeks ago, but we accept that, we keep working and go back to the practice court and now we give ourselves another opportunity in the third round to try and rectify that.
“Some work to do but we are pleased to be able to go through and get another opportunity.”
As ever, Barty is taking nothing for granted despite her Open favouritism after following up her magical Wimbledon campaign with her fifth title of the season in Cincinnati a fortnight ago.
“Each and every round is a test. I don’t come into this tournament with any expectation of myself to feel entitled to go deep into the tournament or win the tournament or whatever it may be,” the top seed said.
“I just have to play each and every match as I would every other tournament and be prepared to play my best tennis as best I can on that given day against my opponent.
“That’s all I can ask from myself. Whether that’s a first round or a final, my preparation and everything doesn’t change.
“That’s been a massive part of our year is accepting that you don’t win every single tennis match and you’re certainly not entitled to make big finals or put yourself in the latter stages of tournament.
“You have to earn that right.”
The 25-year-said Wimbledon was history now as she continues her quest to join legends Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong as the only Australian women to win back-to-back grand-slam crowns.
“Wimbledon was a long time ago,” Barty said.
“I mean, there is momentum in a sense of that was one of my greatest goals was to win that tournament.
“Playing and understanding how to win grand slams is very unique. Two weeks is a long time to be focused and to be able to have a bit of luck, stay healthy.
“I’ve learnt that the hard way that sometimes it doesn’t always go your way.
“But also, it’s a different surface, a different tournament, completely different conditions.
“So it’s hard to take too much confidence or momentum from that event. For us, we just come here each and every day and try and do our best. That’s all we can do.”
Another victory over the 43rd-ranked Rogers will propel the dual grand slam champion into a fourth-round contest with either English teenager Emma Raducanu or Sara Sorribes Tormo, the Spaniard who shocked Barty at the Tokyo Olympics.