The collywobbles of the first round behind her, Ash Barty reprised plenty of her world-leading form to secure a fourth-straight third round berth at Melbourne Park.

The Australian world no. 1 navigated some second set jitters and a dicey opponent in Slovenia's Polona Hercog to notch a 6-1 6-4 victory in just over an hour.

Speaking post-match to former doubles teammate Casey Dellacqua, Barty said she was stoked to escape unscathed.

"It's been incredible, another clean match, happy to get out of that one," Barty said.

Australian Open: Barty shows might, as last year's finalists move on_1
Inset: Ashleigh Barty showed the world why she's world number one during the second round. Photo: Getty

"It was very different [from the first round], and the wind played a massive factor … once I got my opportunity I took them, and was glad to save a few break points in the second set."

The French Open champion was dialled in from the outset, holding serve to love before immediately breaking her opponent.

Her dominant ways carried on throughout the first set for the loss of one game, with her cutting sliced backhand causing particular trouble for Hercog, who sprayed 11 unforced errors.

Australian Open: Barty shows might, as last year's finalists move on_2
Inset: The Australian employed her slice to great effect during her second round match. Photo: Getty

Resuming after the break, the Slovenian looked more content extending rallies, manoeuvring Barty wide before landing punishing forehand blows.

The strategy paid dividends with six break point chances in the second set.

But Barty withstood the challenge, utilising her all-court game, prowess at the net and mettle developed as the world's top player to see off her lower-ranked opponent.



However, the world no.97 Badosa had three set points to force a third and appeared convinced she closed it out, before Hawkeye cruelly proved her backhand winner was mere centimetres wide.

Surviving the late scare, Kvitova's fierce ball-striking saw her close out the match with 31 winners to her credit.