Ash Barty beats Madison Keys to reach first Australian Open final
The 25-year-old Barty is now one win away from adding the Australian Open to her French Open & Wimbledon titles
World No 1 Ash Barty is through to the Australian Open final after dismissing American American Madison Keys 6-1, 6-3 in the semi-finals on Thursday evening.
The 25-year-old, who is the first Australian women to reach the final here since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, is now one win away from becoming the first Aussie – woman or man – to win their home Grand Slam since Chris O’Neil won here in 1978. She will meet either seventh seed Iga Swiatek or 27th seeded Danielle Collins in Saturday’s final.
Barty breaks early and keeps the momentum in both sets
Playing on Rod Laver Arena even as the great Aussie legend himself watched from the stands, Ash Barty got off to the best possible start, breaking Keys’ serve after a long first game. Barty then held her own serve to go up 2-0.
The American, playing in her second Australian Open semi-final, held her serve in the third game, but Barty ran away with the next four games to claim the opening set 6-1.
The second set was somewhat closer as both players held their initial service games. But Barty, who already owns a French Open and Wimbledon title, broke Keys in the sixth game and held her serve to build a 5-2 lead.
After Keys held in the eighth game to cut the deficit to 5-3, the Australian held her serve to 15 to complete the win in one hour and three minutes.
Keys’ 19 unforced errors was one of the key stats from the match, compared to only five winners, while Barty hit seven winners and nine unforced errors.
Barty did not lose her serve throughout the match, saving both breakpoints she faced. The Aussie has lost her serve just once throughout the tournament and has dropped just 21 games to reach the championship round this year.