WTA Roland Garros: Ashleigh Barty and Madison Keys advance into quarters

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WTA Roland Garros: Ashleigh Barty and Madison Keys advance into quarters

The 8th seed Ashleigh Barty has been one of the best players in 2019, building the form on hard courts and shifting it into clay as well to reach the quarters in Paris. Scoring only two wins at the clay Major in the past, Ashleigh has played on a high level in the first four matches, defeating Sofia Kenin 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in an hour and 30 minutes for back-to-back quarter-finals after the first one at home in Melbourne.

Firing 11 aces, Barty defended well both the first and second serve, losing serve twice from four opportunities given to the young American and overcoming that deficit on the return easily to cross the finish line first. Stealing 46% of the return points, Ashleigh grabbed five breaks, three of those in the decider when she shifted into a higher gear to leave Sofia far behind.

Ashleigh raced into a 5-1 lead in the first set with breaks in games two and six, wasting a set point on serve at 5-1 to suffer a break before holding at 15 in the ninth game for a 6-3. Having to raise her level, Kenin started to play better in set number two, breaking Barty in the second game and landing four easy holds to open a 5-2 gap and serve for the set in game nine.

Saving two break points, Sofia made a pivotal hold to lock the set and set up a decider where she had nothing left in the tank, losing it 6-0 to propel the Aussie into the quarters and end her great run into the fourth round.

World no. 14 Madison Keys is through to her seventh Grand Slam quarter-final and the second in a row in Paris, beating Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 16 minutes. Keeping the points on her racquet, Madison hit 26 winners and the same number of errors, taking more than a half return points and converting five out of six break points to control the scoreboard and join the compatriots Sloane Stephens and Amanda Anisimova in the last eight.

Madison grabbed three breaks in the opening set, trading return games with Katerina at the beginning of the second set and staying neck and neck until game ten when Keys brought the encounter home with yet another break to remain in the title chase.