Sport Tennis ’I’m in a very good place’: Ashleigh Barty advances to French Open quarter-finals
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’I’m in a very good place’: Ashleigh Barty advances to French Open quarter-finals

Ashleigh Barty says her power game will help her on grass. Photo: Getty
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Ashleigh Barty has booked her spot in the French Open quarter-finals after overcoming Sophia Kenin in three sets at Roland-Garros on Monday night.

The 23-year-old Australian, who is seeded eighth in Paris, sent the 20-year-old American packing 6-3 3-6 6-0 to reach her first round of 16 on the famous clay courts.

Barty served 11 aces to three and won five break points to progress after her match on Philippe-Chatrier.

In advancing to her second-successive grand slam quarter-final, Barty closed to within three wins of becoming Australia’s first French Open singles champion since Margaret Court in 1973.

Barty told on-court interviewer Fabrice Santoro she was enjoying herself as she looks deeper into the second week of the second grand slam tournament of the year.

“I play my best when I play simply … I’m in a very good place and enjoying myself,” Barty said.

She started the tournament with straight-sets wins over Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, and will next play another American Madison Keys, who defeated doubles specialist Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-4 earlier on Monday.

The Queenslander’s path to a grand slam title on the Paris clay was turned on its head during a dramatic Saturday at Roland Garros, when both Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka fell.

Dual Grand Slam winner Rod ‘the Rockhampton Rocket’ Laver – the only man to twice win all four grand slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) in the same calendar year – was among the many Australians cheering on Barty.

“Australia is behind you @ashbar96 Queensland gold!,” Laver tweeted.

“You can go all the way, no question. I’ll be cheering hard. So proud. Rocket.”

Laver said he has no doubts Barty can continue her march towards a grand slam title.

“It’s amazing what she has accomplished here,” he told a packed media conference at Roland Garros.

“A couple of years back, she was a good doubles player and played some attractive singles.

“But something happened. She says, ‘I know how to win matches now’, and that’s what Barty has accomplished this year.”

-with AAP

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