Barty ‘not done yet’ as world No 1 chases Melbourne glory

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Ash Barty is three wins away from becoming the first Australian to win in Melbourne since 1978

A third consecutive Australian Open quarter-final beckons for Ash Barty but the world No 1 is far from satisfied as she eyes a drought-ending title in Melbourne.

Barty produced a masterclass to blitz American Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round on Monday. Not since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 has an Australian woman reached three successive quarter-finals or more at Melbourne Park, where Barty will meet Karolina Muchova in the last eight.

But 2019 French Open champion Barty is dreaming big as she looks to become the first Australian woman since 1978 to take the title.

“We’re not done yet,” Barty, a semi-finalist last year, said. “Obviously it’s exciting to be in another quarter-final of a grand slam, particularly here in Australia. If we had looked at the way we were preparing during our pre-season, to have the start that we have had so far is really encouraging, but certainly not satisfied with where we’re at at the moment. We will keep chipping away and keep trying to do the right things to progress as far as we can.”

Experience paying off

Barty arrived in Melbourne at the start of the year having not played in a competitive WTA Tour event since February 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the prolonged break, Barty – who stepped away from tennis in 2014 before returning in 2016 after playing cricket – said: “I think I know that I’ve done the work. I know that we prepared in the right way during the pre-season.

“We’ve done all the work to try to give myself the opportunity to play a good level of tennis and to a level that I know I’m capable of. It’s just knowing that I put the trust in the work that we’ve done, more than surprising myself. I think I’ve known that I’ve done the work. I have the ability to play at this level and then it’s just about going about all of our processes, our routines the right way. All of those came back quite naturally. It’s something that I’ve practiced a lot, and I gain my confidence from that practice and from those preseasons as opposed to just match results.”

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