On Australia Day, The Barty Party Rolls On in Melbourne
It wasn’t easy — is it ever going to be at your home Grand Slam? — but world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty is through to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the second year running, overcoming a valiant effort from Alison Riske 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
For the second time after her first-round, come-from-behind win against Lesia Tsurenko (5-7, 6-1, 6-1), Ash Barty had to go the distance in this tournament. She didn’t pass the Alison Riske test with flying colours, but she passed it (6-3, 1-6, 6-4) and it’s all that matters to her, surely.
As a matter of fact, Barty was carrying a 0-2 record against Riske coming into this match, having notably lost their Wimbledon meeting last year.
The Aussie started well, taking a comprehensive 6-3 first set and showing no signs of her past struggles against the American.
But while Barty had a 30-minute slump, Riske spectacularly picked up her level in the second set (going from a -9 to +1 winners/unforced errors ratio) to send the match to a decider.
Ali Riske cleans up her game in the second set and Ash Barty’s groundies go awry.
The American pockets the second set 61 and we go to a third!
Barty in Set 1: -1
Barty in Set 2: -9
Riske in Set 1: -8
Riske in Set 2: +1
Big swings. #AusOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 26, 2020
There were a lot of momentum changes in the third set as Barty stroke first, taking a 4-2 lead, and although Riske came back again, it was the Aussie who clinched the last break (and game) of the match on a double fault from Riske.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 26, 2020
Keys 2019 RG
Riske AO 2020
Only time Barty has ever beaten a top 20 player at a slam
— Eggy 🥚 (@TheBoiledEgg) January 26, 2020
In the quarterfinals, Ashleigh Barty will face last year’s runner-up Petra Kvitova in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal, won 6-4, 6-2 by the Czech.
Title expectations may be rising round after round for Barty, but spare her from them for now.
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) January 24, 2020