Sport Australian Open: Ash Barty charges into quarter-finals with straight-sets win

Australian Open: Ash Barty charges into quarter-finals with straight-sets win

Ash Barty remains in control after her straight-sets win over Shelby Rogers on Monday. Photo: AAP
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World No.1 Ash Barty is through to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the third straight year after thumping American Shelby Rogers in straight sets.

Barty made a fast start and kept her cool after a mini second-set fightback from Rogers to secure the 6-3 6-4 win in 71 minutes on Monday night.

The 2019 French Open champion will meet Czech world No.27 Karolina Muchova on Wednesday for a spot in the semi-finals.

Muchova beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 to move into the final eight.

Barty is the first home hope to reach three consecutive Australian Open quarter-finals in 37 years, since Wendy Turnbull made it four in a row in 1984.

“It’s really exciting to be through to another quarter-final,” Barty said during an on-court interview.

“If you would have told me a few months ago while we were doing pre-season that this is the start to the year that we’d have, we’d absolutely take it with a massive smile on our face.

“We come out here and have fun. I just love being at home, I love being in Australia and being able to share it with all my friends and family.”

Both players entered the match without having dropped a set in the tournament.

Barty led the head-to-head battle 2-0, but their most recent meeting earlier this month was a tough encounter at the Yarra Valley Classic that was decided by a match tiebreak.

There was no crowd on hand to spur Barty on, but she was still able to make a fast start to shoot out to a 4-1 lead.

Barty’s ability to turn a series of defensive scrambles into offensive forehands proved crucial.

She saved two break points in the seventh game and didn’t give Rogers another sniff on the way to sealing the first set in 29 minutes.

The unforced errors continued to mount for Rogers in the second set, with Barty snaring consecutive breaks to put her opponent on the brink at 5-1.

The only real blemish for Barty came when she was up 5-2 in the second and serving for the match at 40-15.

Barty committed a series of unforced errors to hand a break back to Rogers, but the Australian made amends in her next service game to secure the win.

“I knew my serve was going to be massive,” Barty said.

“She’s a player that can take the match away from you very quickly, so I needed to have my running shoes on. But I served well and I tried to be in control of as many points as I could.”