Ashleigh Barty: Making Jessica Pegula feel uncomfortable is going to be a challenge



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Ashleigh Barty: Making Jessica Pegula feel uncomfortable is going to be a challenge

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty dropped a service game for the first time in eight matches but it didn't bother her that much since she beat Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-3 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinal. Anisimova broke Barty in the second game of the second set but Barty responded by claiming three breaks to overturn the deficit and book a straight-set win.

"It didn't bother me too much," Barty said of losing her serve for the first time in eight matches, per the WTA website. "Honestly, I'm not counting how many games I hold in a row or not. The fact I was able to reset, break straight back, was really important, just to be able to reset myself, go again and continue to do the right things.

"In that game Amanda saw a few second serves that she was able to punish, and she also had some really good returns off first serves. You tip your hat and you say, Too good, to your opponent when they come up with returns from the baseline, and move on pretty quickly and continue to try and do the right things."

Barty plays Jessica Pegula next

Barty, who handed a straight-set defeat to Pegula in their lone meeting at the 2019 French Open, insists the American is a very tough opponent. "She's able to hold the baseline really well.

Her swings are quite linear and she gets a racquet behind the ball and swings through the path. The ball comes at you at a different trajectory, and her ability to absorb pace and then add to it when she wants to is exceptional.

It's going to be a challenge for me to try and push her off that baseline and make her uncomfortable and feel like she has to create," Barty said of Pegula. "But I know that she's also going to be doing the exact same thing to me and trying to make me uncomfortable.

That's the chess game that we play. You go out there and have fun with it, see who can execute better on the day, and that's about all there is to it."