Australian Open: Ashleigh Barty avenges loss to Alison Riske; faces Kvitova next

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Australian Open: Ashleigh Barty avenges loss to Alison Riske; faces Kvitova next

In the sole women’s singles match in the evening session on Sunday at Melbourne Park, top-seed Ashleigh Barty defeated Alison Riske to reach the quarter-finals. The world no. 1 won 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in an hour and 36 minutes.

The two players traded breaks within the first five games of the opening set. Barty quickly built a 3-0 lead but Riske found her range to level the set at 3-2 on serve. A second break of Riske’s serve helped the Australian go up 4-2 and she didn’t lose momentum en route towards taking a one-set lead in the match.

The American retaliated with panache in the second set, dropping just one game to level the match. At that point, it seemed as though Barty would lose yet again to Riske – who had won both their previous two meetings, including the fourth-round clash at the 2019 Wimbledon – but Barty was swift to brush aside her lapses in the second set.

A service break in the opening stages of the third set helped Barty recapture the confidence with which she had started the match. A key worry for Barty, however, was the points won off the second service. While Riske won 62% off her second service points, Barty won just 28% off her second serves.

Barty finished the match with 20 winners and 34 unforced errors to Riske’s 15 winners and 24 unforced errors. I just had to hang in there. It was very tough from both ends playing very differently. I just had to give myself a chance.

Tonight, it was important to get off to a good start. I was a little bit loose, pressed too much. Very proud of the way we were able to bring it back in the third, go back to the patterns I wanted to play,” Barty said after her win.

She will play seventh seed Petra Kvitova in the last-eight. Kvitova defeated Maria Sakkari in their fourth-round match. Photo Credit: Ashleigh Barty Twitter