Sport Tennis Ash Barty continues top form, rolls into Wuhan quarters

Ash Barty continues top form, rolls into Wuhan quarters

Ash Barty
Australian Ash Barty started the year ranked 271 in the world and is now No.37. Photo: Getty
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Ashleigh Barty is zeroing in on a seeding at next year’s Australian Open after claiming another top-15 scalp to progress to the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open.

The Australian downed world No.13 Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 6-0 6-4 in just under two hours, following on from her win over seventh-ranked Johanna Konta.

Even without another win in China, Barty is projected to rise to No.31 in the world, putting her in a good position to claim a top-32 seeding in January at Melbourne Park.

It has been a breakout 2017 for Barty. She started the year ranked 271 after time out of the game when she took up cricket.

Her return to tennis has been spectacularly successful, the Queenslander winning a tournament in Kuala Lumpur, finishing runner-up in Birmingham and beating the likes of grand slam champions Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza.

On Wednesday, she battled hard with the former Wimbledon finalist, losing the first set before going on a seven-game blitz to take the second and lead 1-0 in the decider.

Radwanska broke back and steadied in the third before Barty grabbed a 4-2 lead. She set up game point in the eighth game with a backhand drop shot after a 20-shot rally to lead 5-3, then held serve in the 10th game to advance on her fourth match point.

“I didn’t do much wrong in that first set, but came up short, so credit to her,” Barty said. “But I played pretty well over the last two sets.”

Barty, who played more aggressively than Radwanska, had 40 winners compared with the Polish player’s 12.

In the last eight, she’ll play third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova, a 6-2 6-1 winner over China’s Wang Qiang.