World No.1 Ash Barty took a step closer to home grand slam glory as she blitzed past American Shelby Rogers to book her place in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Barty impressed with her smart court positioning and clever shot placement to strike 21 winners past her opponent to win 6-3 6-4.Embed from Getty Images
“When she hits the ball, she already knows what she wants to do with it, and she knows what the answer is going to be from her opponent,” former world No.25 Mischa Zverev said on Eurosport after the match.
“She’s always thinking like three or four shots ahead, and she has the game to use the different shots in tennis, a backhand slice, a high loopy forehand, she can step in, she can volley, so she’s a pretty, pretty complete player.”
“Barty knows what she has to use against each opponent. Her tennis IQ is so high!”
Barty has now gone nine wins on the bounce and is yet to drop a single set during this year’s Australian Open; an incredible stat considering she hasn’t played in almost a year.
“It’s really exciting to be through to another quarterfinal, if you had told me a few months ago I would take it with a massive smile on my face,” the Australian said after the match.
Although the Australian didn’t have it all her own way, and despite winning in straight sets, Shelby Rogers’ powerful serve troubled the world No.1 at times during the match.
And Barty did well to break the American early on in the opening set, as Rogers started to find her rhythm late on in the opening set to smash four Aces past teh Australian, giving Barty little room to attack the American’s serve.
But the Australian was equally clinical on her own service, saving two break points from Rogers’ advances to make 75% of her first service points.Embed from Getty Images
“I knew my serve was going to be massive, not giving Shelby too many looks at second serve. I needed to have my running shoes on but be in control of points,” said the world No.1, who served out to win the opening set of the match.
Moving her game to the next level in the second set, Barty demonstrated the variety of her ferocious forehand, to hook, spin, and smash some incredible winners past Rogers, to break her opponent at the start of the second set.
Barty held serve and broke again using a ripping crosscourt top-spin forehand, to win five consecutive games and take control of the match.
But Rogers fought back late on, defending well against the world No.1 to steal two match points and her first break of the match back off the Australian.Embed from Getty Images
Yet, with Barty in control of the match, the world No.1 composed herself and two games later advanced towards the net to hit a jab back at Rogers, to win the match.
“I have grown up on these courts but love being at home, love being in Australia and being able to share it with my friends and family,” Barty said.
“They (my team) are my family, with me so many days and weeks of the year, we go through the highs, lows and hard work in between together.“
Barty will now advance into the quarterfinals and will take on 25th seed Karolina Muchova who defeated Gippsland Trophy champion Elise Mertens 7-6(5) 7-5.
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