Ashleigh Barty Serves Her Way To Brilliant Win Over Sofia Kenin
World number one Ashleigh Barty fired off 17 aces as she downed former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Adelaide International on Friday.
World number one Ashleigh Barty fired off 17 aces as she downed former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Adelaide International on Friday. Barty was in superb form as she saw off world number 12 Kenin in just 68 minutes of quality tennis. The 25-year-old Australian served beautifully, winning 31 of 32 points on her first serve and nine of 16 on her second, not giving Kenin any opportunities to break. By contrast, Kenin's serve was not nearly as effective and while she was only broken once in each set, she struggled to hold throughout.
The American's chances were also not helped by the 26 unforced errors she made, many coming from her forehand side.
Barty is playing in her first tournament since taking a pandemic-enforced break at the end of last September's US Open.
The Wimbledon champion is happy to have had a tough passage to the semi-finals after a first round bye.
She beat American teenager Coco Gauff in three sets in the second round and then faced Kenin in the quarter-finals.
Her semi-final opponent is in-form Iga Swiatek, who beat former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
"That's what you want," Barty said.
"It's nice to be able to come out here and be really tested from the start and know you have to bring your very best level.
"Looking at both these previous two matches, there's still work to be done, but it's been a really solid start and we're happy with the foundation we've set to start the year off."
Swiatek, who won the French Open in 2020 as a 19-year-old, has also been in great form this week.
She took the first set comfortably and although she dropped the second as Azarenka picked up her game, Swiatek stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the third and held on the take the match in just under two hours.
Seventh seed Elena Rybakina moved into the final four with a come from behind win over American Shelby Rogers.
The towering Rybakina struggled on serve in the first set but recovered to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
She will take on Misaki Doi in the semi-finals after the Japanese veteran downed Slovenia's Kaja Juvan 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5).
In the men's draw, top seed Gael Monfils cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 win over American Tommy Paul.
He was joined in the last four by third seed Marin Cilic, who beat Slovenia's Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-2 and second ranked Russian Karen Khachanov, who downed Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-5, 6-3.