World No. 1 Ash Barty delighted the Memorial Drive crowd by breezing into the Adelaide International semifinals with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sofia Kenin on Friday.
Barty, the 2020 champion, dominated from the start and showed no signs of the rust on display in her win over Coco Gauff in the previous round of the Australian Open warmup.
In their first meeting since Kenin upset Barty in the 2020 Australian Open semifinals, the American struggled with her serve while her top-ranked opponent was nearly flawless, producing 17 aces and winning 31 of 32 first serve points.
Barty notched the crucial break midway through the opening set and carried that momentum through to the second, wrapping up the win in just over an hour without facing a single break point.
“I felt pretty good today,” Barty said. “I was able to look after my service games pretty well and it was a lot of fun playing out here and getting more court time.
“It’s nice to come out here and be tested from the start and know that you need to bring your very best level. Looking at these last two matches, there’s still work to do.”
Earlier on Friday, seventh seed Elena Rybakina fought back from a set down to prevail 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in her quarterfinal against American Shelby Rogers.
Rogers, who knocked out sixth seed Maria Sakkari in the previous round of the WTA 500 event, raced out to a 4-1 lead before closing out a strong opening set. Rybakina, however, got the only break in the second and held that lead to force a decider.
Rybakina won 90% of her first serve points in the final set and sent down five aces en route to closing out the win in just over two hours.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.