Australia's Ashleigh Barty emerged on top of her Belgium opposition, world No. 12, Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3 to proceed to the the last four of the ongoing Sydney International tournament for a second year in a row. Barty had the edge coming into this encounter on the back of her most impressive win of the career; defeating world number one Simona Halep. She looks set to claim the title ahead of the calendar year's first major tournament -- Australian Open.
The Australian, however, got off to a slow start with some unforced errors. As a result, she was playing the catch-up game and conceded Mertens the advantage. Barty didn't give up and was back by the middle of the first set. Barty created two break chances in the second set and dominated throughout. She finished off the game in straight sets and the contest ended in an hour and 17 minutes.
Post another victory in her kitty, Barty said, "It was nice and solid today. I was pretty happy with the way I was able to come out here and play. For us, it's mostly been about how I try and play my game and not get too sucked into playing the way they (opponents) want me to play. It's important for me to serve well and look for forehands and try and be dominant from that first shot."
Barty opened 2019 winning five of her six singles matches; two at the Hopman Cup and all three of her Sydney International matches in straight sets. The 2018 Sydney finalist will now play either Kiki Bertens or Yulia Putintseva in her semifinal round.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega