Ash Barty in scintillating form ahead of US Open with another dominant win in Cincinnati

US Open: Ashleigh Barty says Roger Federer is ‘not often wrong’

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Ash Barty has continued her stunning run in Cincinnati with a win over the French Open singles and doubles champion, Barbora Krejcikova. In a clash of the two most recent Grand Slam winners, the Aussie needed just 71 minutes to book her space in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals, her sixth appearance in the last-four this year. The world No 1 is yet to drop a set and looks unstoppable ahead of the US Open.

Barty scored her second win of the season over Krejcikova, having beaten her on the way to the title in Wimbledon, when the world No 10 herself was hot off her first Grand Slam singles win at Roland Garros.

It also extends her winning record over top 20 opponents, now having 14 victories to one loss so far in 2021 when playing the tour’s best.

The world No 1 got off to a flying start in the quater-final, taking the first set 6-2 as the recent women’s doubles gold medallist looked far from her best.

Krejcikova raised the stakes and managed to go 4-2 up in the second set but Barty showed why she’s worthy of the top spot in the rankings, reeling off four games in a row to win the match 6-2 6-4 in just an hour and 11 minutes.

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While the Aussie didn’t have her best day on serve, ending the match with a 52% first serve percentage, she managed to win 84% of the points when she made the shot and fired seven aces in crucial moments.

She also managed to win 23 receiving points to the Czech’s 14, putting pressure on Krejcikova’s serve especially after finding herself a break down in the second set.

Barty dropped two fewer games to the world No 10 than she did at Wimbledon, where she won their round of 16 clash 7-5 6-3.

The 25-year-old will face yet another Grand Slam champion in her second-straight Cincinnati semi-final, where she will meet Angelique Kerber after Petra Kvitova was forced to retire injured during their own last-eight match.

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Barty already dispatched of two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka in her previous round, dropping just two games as she toppled the defencing champion 6-0 6-2.

The Belarusian won the title last year when it was held in New York as a one-off, after Naomi Osaka pulled out ahead of their finals match.

Meanwhile, Barty chose to skip last year’s edition of the Western & Southern Open, one of the first tournaments back after the tour was suspended for the coronavirus pandemic, as she followed many other players in staying at home.

She made it to the semi-final stage in Cincinnati two years ago before losing to a resurgent Svetlana Kuznetsova, and will be looking to go one or two better to secure a title ahead of the final Major of the year.

Speaking about her upcoming semi-final match on Tennis Channel, Barty was complimentary of both Kerber and Kvitova before their match came to a conclusion.

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“I probably won’t watch a lot [of their match], no. I’ve played both of those girls recently, I’ve played them a lot. Very different match ups so I think for me there’s no point focusing on the what-ifs now.

“It’s more, let that match play out, see who we play, and then we plan and try to go to work and that’s all we can do.

“I love playing against Angie, I love playing against Petra. They’re both quality girls, quality tennis players and every single one of our matches always brings a smile to my face regardless of the result so one that I’ll look forward to for sure.”

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