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Australian Open 2020: World number 1 Ashleigh Barty ousted in semis by Sofia Kenin

Ashleigh Barty, who was looking to become the first Australian woman in 40 years to reach the final, lost 6-7(8), 5-7 to Sofia Kenin in the semifinal. 

SNS | New Delhi |

World number one women’s singles player Ashleigh Barty bowed out of the ongoing Australian Open after losing her semifinal match against 14th seed Sofia Kenin. Barty, who was looking to become the first Australian woman in 40 years to reach the final, lost 6-7(8), 5-7 at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

Kenin battled early nerves and the vocal Aussie crowd who was supporting the local. Barty began the match on a positive not and served six aces in her first two service games. But as she failed to capitalize on the start, her American opponent eventually got to her best self.

The first-set tiebreaker witnessed Kenin trailing before she dramatically saved four match points to escape with the opener. Barty came stronger in the second set and was up with a 2-1 lead as she made Kenin move all over the court and hit winners with ease.

But Kenin never let the pressure get on top of her and kept herself in the touching distance and broke Barty when she was serving for the match to make it 5-5 in the second set. She had saved her best for the last two games as she reeled past the 2019 French Open winner to make it to her first final in a Major.

“I believed I could win even though I had two set points down in the first and second. I could literally feel, I was telling myself, I believe in myself. If I lose the set, I’m still going to come out and believe. Yeah, I really did a great job with it. I didn’t give up,” Kenin said in her post-match press conference as quoted on the official website of WTA.

“I knew it was a tough match. Of course, some things didn’t go my way with the challenges and some great shots she came up with. But I didn’t let that stop me. Yeah, I was fighting. I left everything out all on the court, so it paid off,” she added.