Sport Ash Barty keeps alive Wimbledon dream with straight-sets win over Barbora Krejcikova

Ash Barty keeps alive Wimbledon dream with straight-sets win over Barbora Krejcikova

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World No.1 Ash Barty has negated the power of French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova to advance to her first singles quarter-final at Wimbledon on Monday.

Despite struggling with her serve, Barty toughed it out and delivered an ace on match point to end Krejcikova’s 15-match winning streak in the 7-5 6-3 victory on Court 1 on the tournament’s famous second-week ‘Manic Monday’.

Advancing to the quarter-final is Barty’s best performance at Wimbledon.

It set up a last-eight meeting with either compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic or British teenage wildcard Emma Raducanu, who were meeting later on Monday on the same court.

Barty, 25, found a way of unravelling the puzzle of the tricky Krejcikova, who hadn’t lost a match while sailing to victory on the clay courts of Strasbourg and Roland Garros.

Barty began nervously, getting broken in just the third game, courtesy of a double fault and wayward errors off either wing.

Krejcikova looked comfortable on her serve, until a calamitous eighth game when she gifted Barty a double, a simple netted volley and a sorry backhand into the net.

Barty gradually started dictating, earning a set point at 5-4 that Krejickova repelled but making no mistake in the Czech’s next service game, breaking her to love to take a set during which she’d never looked completely at home after 47 minutes.

The most impressive trait of Krejcikova’s recent run has been her unquenchable spirit and she hit back, earning break points early in the second set that forced the Queenslander to dig deep.

But after soaking up the pressure, Barty struck like a cobra, playing a couple of dazzling points, including one lovely drop shot-lob combination, to make it 4-2.

Krejcikova bounced back again to break, helped by a Barty double, but when the Australian started knifing in the slice in the next game to break for the fourth time overall, she made no mistake when serving for the match.

With the threat of a rain break looming overhead, Barty timed the finish perfectly to prevail after one hour and 35 minutes.

The grass always felt like Barty’s home territory, even away from the Centre Court which had become home for her in the first week, as she surpassed her Wimbledon run of 2019, when she reached the fourth round only to lose to Alison Riske.

Djokovic breezes into quarter-final

Novak Djokovic is chasing his third crown this year. Photo: Getty

Novak Djokovic eased into his 50th grand slam quarter-final with a straight-sets victory over Cristian Garin on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

The world No.1 made it 18 consecutive slam wins as he chases a third title of the year and 12 consecutive sets taken at the All England Club this year with a 6-2 6-4 6-2 success.

Had he been able to pick an opponent for a last-16 clash at Wimbledon, he could have done a lot worse than Chilean Garin who, despite being seeded 17th, is a clay-court specialist and had never won a match at SW19 prior to this year.

He had benefited from a kind draw to make it this far and he got a taste of the afternoon he was in for as Djokovic won the first eight points of the match and raced through the opening set.

Garin dug in well at the start of the second, holding his own in rallies a lot better and forcing Djokovic into a few uncomfortable moments.

Play was stopped in the fifth game as rain began to fall but it was so brief the players had barely sat down before they were back out on court.

Djokovic began to ramp up the pressure and, after failing to take five break points through the first seven games of the set, he found a way through to make it 5-4 and did not look back.

It was all over for unseeded Sebastian Korda, who agonisingly missed out on a place in quarter-finals after a crazy fifth set against Karen Khachanov.

Federer’s milestone

Roger Federer is also through to the quarter finals. Photo: Getty

Roger Federer has weathered a first-set storm to become the oldest man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a 7-5 6-4 6-2 win over Italian 23rd seed Lorenzo Sonego.

The Swiss, who will turn 40 next month, was deadlocked at 5-5 in the first set when a torrential downpour on Monday sent the players back into the locker room with Sonego down break point.

The 20-minute disruption, during which the roof was closed over a soggy and windswept Centre Court, did Sonego no favours. He immediately produced a double fault under the floodlights to surrender his serve.

That provided Federer with the spark he needed to motor through the rest of the contest after converting only two of the nine break points he had earned during the first set.

In his record-extending 18th Wimbledon quarter-final, and 58th across all four majors, the eight-time All England Club champion will meet either Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, whose match will resume on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, seventh seed Matteo Berrettini continued his serene progress at Wimbledon, thrashing Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-3 6-1.

Champion at Queen’s prior to the tournament, Berrettini lost serve just once in the contest and has not dropped a set since doing so in his first-round win over Guido Pella.

He will face Alexander Zverev or Felix Auger Aliassime for a place in the semi-finals.

-with AAP