Australian Open: Ashleigh Barty into quarter-finals in Melbourne
The Australian world No 1 kept her composure on the big points and will now face Jessica Pegula on Wednesday for a spot in the semi-finals; she is aiming to win her first Australian Open title this year in Melbourne
Last Updated: 24/01/22 5:14am
Ashleigh Barty again showed her prowess on a home court to overcome Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-3 and move into the Australian Open quarter-finals.
The world No 1, who beat Anisimova on her run to the French Open title in 2019, proved to be the steadier player on the key points during the 74-minute contest.
Although Barty had her streak of 63 straight service holds broken, her ability to absorb the power of her 20-year-old rival and draw errors proved critical.
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Anisimova had come into the match off the back of knocking out Naomi Osaka and Barty reserved great praise for her opponent following their contest.
"She's an incredible athlete and an incredible competitor. One of her best attributes is that she's able to turn up point after point," Barty said on court.
"I think it's just nice to see her back playing her best tennis. She's a champion and she's going to go deep in a lot of majors in the future, that's for sure."
Ashleigh Barty vs Amanda Anisimova - Statistics
|Ashleigh Barty||Amanda Anisimova|
|67%||First serve in||67%|
|78%||First serve points won||61%|
|50%||Second serve points won||38%|
|6/6||Net points won||8/11|
|71||Total points won||56|
Barty did see her run of consecutive service holds come to an end, she then won six of the next seven games in the second set.
The world No 1 did not allow Anisimova any rhythm during the contest. She used her backhand slice intelligently and consistently put the ball into the corners.
Women's Quarter-finals - Top half of the draw
|Ashleigh Barty (1) vs Jessica Pegula (21)|
|Barbora Krejcikova (4) vs Madison Keys|
Barty will now face another American, Jessica Pegula, on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals of her home Grand Slam.
Pegula is through to this stage of the Slam for the second year in a row and upset fifth seed Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 to do so.
"It was a little hot out there, so I didn't really want to kind of play a lot of long points," Pegula noted.
"I thought I really had to step up and be aggressive when I had the chances to. Luckily I was able to capitalise on that pretty well today and play a pretty clean match, I think."
The other quarter-final match in the top half of the draw will pit fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova against a resurgent Madison Keys.
The American had long been tipped as a potential Grand Slam champion and made the final of the US Open in 2017, but this is her first Grand Slam quarter-final since the French Open almost three years ago.
Keys began the season with a title in Adelaide and dismissed eighth seed Paula Badosa 6-3 6-1 at Melbourne Park.
"I think it's obviously easy to say it now, that as long as you keep doing the right things, things will work out and all of that," Keys said.
"I felt like I was doing a lot of the right things last year, I was doing my best, and it just wasn't happening. Tennis can change in a week. Just knowing that it will eventually get better, you just kind of have to hold onto that."
Badosa also won a tournament to begin the season but was blown away by the power of Keys.
The Spaniard said: "Sometimes I was serving 180 (kph). I had to look what the serve said because I didn't understand how a winner came back that fast. I thought I was serving bad. Then I saw it was her game, that she was playing very, very good."
Krejcikova has taken becoming an unexpected Grand Slam champion completely in her stride since lifting the title at Roland Garros last spring.
She eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory over two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka and prayed on the 24th seed's 28 unforced errors during the encounter.
Krejcikova has been watching what's been going on elsewhere in the draw and as a result, knows exactly what to expect from Keys.
"Madison, she's playing great. She was flawless. She was really playing well," Krejcikova said.
"I think she's really powerful. I think she's always been very powerful. I think she does her things well.
"She likes to be aggressive. Today, she was really serving well and she was also hitting her forehand really well. This is what she was doing really, really good. We have to find a way how to eliminate these things, how to give her my game."