Sport Tennis Ashleigh Barty battles to reach Cincinnati quarters

Ashleigh Barty battles to reach Cincinnati quarters

ashleigh-barty
Top seed Ashleigh Barty fought back from a set down to reach the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open for the first time. Photo: AAP
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Ashleigh Barty has rallied from a set down to edge past Estonian Anett Kontaveit and book her place in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open.

The top-seeded Australian clinched a battling victory with a deep forehand winner and raised her right fist in triumph after fighting off match point and outlasting Kontaveit in two hours and 10 minutes.

In the process, Barty struck 31 winners and nine aces, breaking Kontaveit six times

French Open champion Barty, currently ranked second, can reclaim the world top spot by reaching the tournament final in the US Open warm-up event in Ohio.

Into the last eight in Cincinnati for the first time, Barty, who fought past Maria Sharapova in her opener, will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari after she dispatched Aryna Sabalenka, 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 6-4 to advance.

“The best thing is when my back was against the wall, the tennis was there,” Barty said.

“It may not have been there the whole match, but we were able to find it when we needed it.”

Venus Williams also rallied from a set down to prevail a 2-6 6-3 6-3 winner against Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Third seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic is also through, beating Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 7-5 6-4.