Sydney: Australia’s Ashleigh Barty defeated Belgium’s World No.12 Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3 here Thursday to reach the last four in the Sydney International tennis tournament for a second year in a row. Her quarterfinal win comes just one day after she registered the biggest win of her career against world No.1 Simona Halep Wednesday.
The Australian World No.15 got off to a slow start with some unforced errors that gave Mertens an advantage although she was back in the game by the middle of the first set. Barty created two break chances in the second set and dominated the set, finally finishing off the game in straight sets after an hour and 17 minutes on court. “It was nice and solid. I was pretty happy with the way I was able to come out here and play,” Barty said on court.
Barty opened 2019 winning five of her six singles matches; two at the Hopman Cup and all three of her Sydney International matches in straight sets. The 2018 Sydney finalist will play against either Kiki Bertens or Yulia Putintseva in the last four.
Melbourne: Last year’s Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic rounded off his preparations for this year’s edition in style Thursday, winning his second match in as many days at the Kooyong Classic. The World No.7 beat Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-4, backing up his three-set victory a day before over World No. 6 Kevin Anderson. Earlier, American Jack Sock lost to fast-rising Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 after a final set played as a 10-point tiebreak.
indo-asian news service