World number one Ashleigh Barty eased past one of her most feared rivals Alison Riske to enter the quarterfinal of the women’s singles events at the ongoing Australian Open.
Barty defeated Riske 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to register first win against her in three encounters. In her first Grand Slam as world number one, Barty was defeated in a grueling three-setter in Wimbledon last year by Riske.
But the Australian was on top gear on Sunday as she delivered a composed and tactical display to overcome the past fears and a mid-match dip of concentration to make it to the last eight of her home major in second consecutive years.
In terms of the numbers, the match was fought on equal footing with Barty winning 72 points in comparison to Riske’s 70. Both the players converted four breakpoints.
However, it was the higher win percentage on 1st serve of 81 from the 23-year-old Barty to her opponent’s lowly 60 that made the difference. The 2019 French Open winner will next face seventh-seed Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals.
Earlier on the day, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who caused a major upset in the third round when she knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka, failed to make it to her first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam as she lost to Sofia Kenin at the Melbourne Arena on Sunday.
In what was the first meeting between two of the most promising youngsters, Kenin rallied to defeat Gauff 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0 in the match that lasted for two hours and nine minutes to reach her first-ever Majors quarterfinal.