Barty muscles past Sharapova to set up Kvitova quarter-final

January 22 12:54 2019

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Ashleigh Barty stunned Maria Sharapova to become the first hometown hope in a decade to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday, creating a frenzy in a nation desperate for Grand Slam success. But I’m playing really good tennis. Barty overcame an error riddled nervy which had first settled to defeat the major victor who had won five times and the former world at No.14-6-16-4 in a rousing that had the performance of forth round on Sunday. Perhaps rubbing salt on her wound, as one may say, Sharapova was asked about the drug ban that she completed a year ago.

“Great match. I start very well, I serve well”. However, Barty will have the local support along with a great deal of confidence, courtesy of her impressive win over Sharapova. “There is absolutely nothing better”.

Chris O’Neil was the last female home victor in Australia in 1978, while Wendy Turnbull reached the semi-finals in 1984.

Kvitova is no stranger to the latter stages of slams, of course, but this is the furthest she has been in Melbourne since 2012. She is back to near her best a little over two years since she survived a knife attack by a burglar in her home town in the Czech Republic. Just kind of pulling people’s legs. I do have a different mindset than I had those years when I won. “I just felt lonely and odd”. That’s really important not to be really stressed about it.

Tsitsipas’s exploits line him up with semi-final against either fellow young gun Frances Tiafoe of the United States or 17-time Grand Slam-winning Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

The 22-year-old will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the third round.

She played nine T20 games in the 2015-16 season for the Brisbane Heat franchise alongside Australia global stars Jess Jonassen and Beth Mooney.

Asked whether it is hard to deal with the physical demands of a grand slam without her former medication, Sharapova put her hand to her forehead, then pursed her lips and replied “Is there another question?“. “There are 10 other girls that can help you out and get you through the tough times”, she had said after signing for Heat.

While Chisholm might be unprepared for an extended stay in the southern hemisphere, Collins has seemed completely at home the second week of a Slam, unfazed by the pressure of playing in the first Australian Open main draw of her career. She has a versatile game too, with the volleys of a doubles champion (she won September’s US Open with CoCo Vandeweghe) and the best slice backhand in the business.

“I didn’t really imagine being back”, a teary Kvitova said after ending the run of No. 15 Ash Barty of Australia 6-1, 6-4. “I think I’ll just worry about getting home, celebrate what my team have been able to achieve over the last month”.

The tennis legend says Barty’s old-style game, mixing up her big groundstrokes with net placement and a mean slice, is a victor.

Who are the dark horses?

Australia's Ashleigh Barty celebrates her victory against Russia's Maria Sharapova during their women's singles match on day seven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne

Barty muscles past Sharapova to set up Kvitova quarter-final
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