Australia's Ashleigh Barty
Australia's Ashleigh Barty in action during her first round match against Croatia's Donna Vekic, at the Birmingham Classic. Image Credit: Reuters

Birmingham: French Open champion Ashleigh Barty made a smooth transition from Parisian clay to British lawns as the Australian opened her grass court campaign with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 victory over Croatia’s Donna Vekic at the Birmingham Classic on Wednesday.

In her first match since winning her maiden Grand Slam title by beating Marketa Vondrousova at Roland Garros little more than a week ago, the 23-year-old began sluggishly but quickly found her rhythm to move through to the second round.

Barty, emerging as one of the favourites for Wimbledon, said it was the “perfect test”.

“I knew that I had to be sharp and I had to be ready. Otherwise it wouldn’t even be a contest,” Barty said. She will continue to hone her grass court skills against American Jennifer Brady who beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 6-3.