Saturday, February 22, 2020 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

Pressure cranks up as Barty reaches first Australian Open semi-final

  • Print


AFP, Melbourne :
Ashleigh Barty said Tuesday that she prefers the quiet life but there is no chance of that after Australia's world number one reached the semi-finals of her home Grand Slam for the first time.
The top seed plays 14th-seeded American Sofia Kenin in the last four after surviving a tough first set to defeat Petra Kvitova 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 in the quarter-finals.
There is intense pressure on the 23-year-old Barty, the last remaining Australian in the tournament, to deliver the first homegrown women's champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978.
She is the face of the Australian Open and her picture is on billboards all over Melbourne.
But Barty said: "I'd prefer to just be sitting at home just living my quiet little life.
"I mean, no offence, but not having to chat to you guys every day would be pretty good," she told reporters, smiling.
"I feel like I have nothing to say, I'm talking in circles a little bit."
But Barty said having the focus on her in Melbourne was inevitable and "a part of the journey that I hate it and I love it".
Beating the Czech seventh seed Kvitova was revenge for Barty, who was beaten by the two-time Wimbledon champion at the same stage last year.
But the down-to-earth Australian is a better player than 12 months ago, winning the French Open last year and hitting the top of the rankings for the first time.
Kvitova, 29, who suffered severe injury to her left playing hand in a knife attack at her home in 2016, and Barty went toe-to-toe in a crucial seventh game of the first set.
In a game stretching to nearly 10 minutes, Barty fought off five break points to hold serve at Rod Laver Arena, to roars of approval.
In a tense encounter they went to the tie-break, but it was Kvitova who blinked, shanking a forehand long to give Barty the set in 69 high-quality minutes.
Barty, who once gave up tennis to play professional cricket, clenched her fist. Kvitova tossed her racquet into air.
Barty pulled away in the second set as Kvitova wilted in the Melbourne sun.
The Australian sealed the deal with her trademark minimum fuss, booking her spot in the last four with an ace.
The draw has opened up for Barty after six of the top 10 women's seeds were beaten in the third round, among them reigning champion Naomi Osaka and history-chasing Serena Williams.

More News For this Category

10-km run to be held in Dhaka

Bangladesh is set to get its first certified distance race next month, in the form of the 'CCCL RUNBANGLA International 10K' AIMS, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races,

Navy champions in Bangabandhu Shaheed Smrity Hockey Tournament

Navy champions in Bangabandhu Shaheed Smrity Hockey Tournament

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh Navy emerged as the champions in the Bangabandhu Shaheed Smrity Hockey Tournament defeating Bangladesh Army by 6-3 goals in the final at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey

India's Kohli not yet ready to ease workload

AFP, Wellington :Virat Kohli admitted Wednesday that captaining India in all three cricketing formats was gruelling but insisted he was not yet ready to ease his leadership burden.Speaking ahead of

Too early to say whether virus threatens Olympics, says WHO

AP, Geneva  :Despite a virus outbreak spreading from China, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official said Tuesday it's much too soon to say whether the Tokyo Olympics are at

Djokovic says Federer, Nadal inspire him to play best season ever

Djokovic says Federer, Nadal inspire him to play best season ever

Xinhua, Belgrade :Stressing his grand slam and Olympic ambitions, Novak Djokovic, who recently made a comeback as world's No. 1, said he this season could be his best and feels

Kristina Mladenovic of France, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai of United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

Kristina Mladenovic of France, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai of United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

The winners in the Annual Sports Competition of the Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall of Dhaka University (DU) with the chief guest Provost (Acting) of the Hall Professor Shamim Banu pose for a photo session at the Central              Playground in DU on Wednesday.

The winners in the Annual Sports Competition of the Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall of Dhaka University (DU) with the chief guest Provost (Acting) of the Hall Professor Shamim Banu pose for a photo session at the Central Playground in DU on Wednesday.

Vlaeminck under     injury cloud ahead of World Cup opener

Vlaeminck under injury cloud ahead of World Cup opener

Australia are keeping their "fingers and toes crossed" as Tayla Vlaeminck's participation for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup is in jeopardy due to a leg injury. The pacer was

'Welcome to Anfield': Klopp warns Atletico

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects a very different atmosphere at Anfield will help turn his side's Champions League last 16 tie with Atletico Madrid around after a 1-0 first leg

The winners in the Annual Sports Competition of the Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University (DU) with the chief guest Treasurer of Dhaka University Professor Dr Md Kamal Uddin pose for photograph at the Central            Playground in DU on Tuesday. Provost of the Hall Professor Dr Mihir Lal Saha, was, among others, present at the time.

The winners in the Annual Sports Competition of the Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University (DU) with the chief guest Treasurer of Dhaka University Professor Dr Md Kamal Uddin pose for photograph at the Central Playground in DU on Tuesday. Provost of the Hall Professor Dr Mihir Lal Saha, was, among others, present at the time.