Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 15, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning her fourth round match against Shelby Rogers of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina
MELBOURNE – Ash Barty made light of the challenge of unseeded American Shelby Rogers with a commanding 6-3 6-4 victory to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the third year in a row on Monday.
The world number one has tried to deflect talk that she might end Australia’s 43-year wait for a homegrown champion next Saturday but she looked every bit the title contender as she swept into the last eight without dropping a set.
The quest for a home Grand Slam title continues ✨@ashbarty is into her third consecutive #AusOpen quarterfinal.#AO2021 pic.twitter.com/CUIVUeg2XE
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 15, 2021
Rogers has played quarterfinals at two Grand Slams and made a habit of upsetting highly-ranked players but she was unable to get enough of a handle on Barty’s serve to make her high-quality returns a factor.
Barty faltered for the first time with victory in sight, allowing Rogers to take back one of the two breaks of serve she had given up in the second set, but the top seed fixed a quarterfinal date with Czech Karolina Muchova two games later.
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