Sunday, September 20, 2020 | ePaper

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

Top seeds Halep, Pliskova into last eight in Rome

Top seeds Halep, Pliskova into last eight in Rome

AFP, Rome :Simona Halep and defending women's champion Karolina Pliskova both eased into the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Friday.Top seed Halep rallied from 3-0 down in the

Mohammadpur Taekwondo Club emerge champions

Mohammadpur Taekwondo Club clinched the title of the 1st Mujib Borsho Bangladesh Taekwondo Online Club Poomsae Championship that concluded on Saturday. Mohammadpur Taekwondo Club won twenty four medals including

Bartomeu to face vote of no- confidence from Barcelona members

Bartomeu to face vote of no- confidence from Barcelona members

AFP, Madrid  :Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to face a vote of no-confidence after a petition to remove him gained the required number of signatures from members

US Open champion Osaka withdraws from French Open with injury AFP, Los Angeles

US Open champion Osaka withdraws from French Open with injury AFP, Los Angeles

Freshly crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open with a sore hamstring on Thursday, in a fresh blow to the coronavirus-hit Grand Slam, which

BHF should sit with coach, manager before taking decision: Mamun

Sports Reporter :Coach of Bangladesh Under-21 Hockey team Mamunur Rashid said, "Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) should sit with the coach and manager before taking decision with the team." Mamunur

Mujib Borsho Taekwondo Poomsae Championship begins

The first Mujib Borsho Bangladesh Taekwondo Online Club Poomsae Championship began on Friday marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation

11-year-old boy`s dream comes true after meeting hero Mushfiqur Rahim

11-year-old boy`s dream comes true after meeting hero Mushfiqur Rahim

Sports Reporter :11-year-old Sheikh Yaamin Sinan played cricket with his mother at Paltan Ground on last Friday. Then the photographers of different newspapers and website took that photograph. After

Lucky to have sports friendly PM: Russell

State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell, MP, on Tuesday said they are lucky for having such a sports friendly Prime Minister, who always cooperates with the helpless

Clinical Chelsea sink Brighton to make winning start

Clinical Chelsea sink Brighton to make winning start

Chelsea got their Premier League campaign on track after 20-year-old right back Reece James helped them to a 3-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion with a spectacular goal on

Nishikori reaches second round at Italian Open

Nishikori reaches second round at Italian Open

Xinhua, Rome :Kei Nishikori of Japan secured his first win of the season as he labored to beat Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 7-6 (3) to reach the second round at