Sports

Barty into Sydney International semis

Sydney, Jan 10 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/10/2019 10:37:07 AM IST

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty defeated Belgium’s world No. 12 Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the last four in the Sydney International tournament for a second year in a row.

Her quarterfinal win comes just one day after she registered the biggest win of her career against world No. 1 Simona Halep on Wednesday, reports Efe news.
The Australian world No. 15 got off to a slow start with some unforced errors that gave Mertens an advantage although she was back in the game by the middle of the first set.
Barty created two break chances in the second set and dominated the set, finally finishing off the game in straight sets after an hour and 17 minutes on court.
“It was nice and solid today. I was pretty happy with the way I was able to come out here and play,” Barty said on court.
“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 said after the match.
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 play against Kiki Bertens in the last four after the Dutch claimed a swift quarterfinal victory over qualifier Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, 6-2, 6-2.
“I think today was a good match for me, I’m really happy to be in the semifinal here,” Bertens said, during her post-match press conference. “For me, it’s always really nice to play just a lot of matches to get in the rhythm. I’m really happy with every match I can play before such a big event like Melbourne.”
Bertens and Putintseva had split their first two WTA meetings, each of which were three-set tussles which clocked over two-and-a-half hours apiece. But this time, Bertens pulled off a comprehensive victory after only 61 minutes of play to move into the Sydney semifinals.
The Dutchwoman, enjoying her first Australian swing ranked in the Top 10, had 16 winners, compared to Putintseva’s three. 
World No.44 Putintseva was hoping for a second consecutive Top 10 win, following her second-round comeback win over Sloane Stephens, but had 18 unforced errors and was never able to get to break point against the divine play of Bertens.

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