Ash Barty lays down a marker, enters maiden quarterfinals at Wimbledon
The 25-year-old Australian beats French Open champion Krejcikova in straight sets to join an array of first-time Wimbledon quarterfinalists; Kerber, Jabeur impress
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time on Monday, beating French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.
The defeat brought an end to Krejcikova’s 15-match winning streak and she will have to wait another year to see if she can emulate her late coach and mentor Jana Novotna in winning the title.
Barty may have won in straight sets, but that did not really tell the full tale of a hard fought 95-minute encounter against an opponent who had yet to win a main draw singles grass match prior to Wimbledon.
Barty’s serve was once again her Achilles heel, being broken early in the first set and then again in the second while serving for the match.
Fortunately for the Aussie supporters on Court No.1 – one of whom was holding a hand written card ‘It’s Barty’s Party’ – she found the return game when she most needed it, including the final break of serve to take the match.
“It was incredibly tough,” Barty said. “I found some good stuff when it was important. It’s down to the work myself and my team do in practice. It tastes sweeter when you win.”
Earlier, Ons Jabeur’s historic Wimbledon campaign saw her reach the women’s last-eight, beating Poland’s 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.
The 26-year-old is the first Tunisian woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon and will face Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who defeated Elena Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Jabeur showed great poise after she let slip a 5-4 lead while serving for the first set. She broke her 20-year-old opponent in the first game of the second and never looked back, taking 11 of the next 13 games.
Jabeur celebrated victory with a fist pump and a yell of delight, but for once she was not a lone Tunisian voice, as some spectators burst out into a song, with Jabeur joining by cupping a hand to one ear.
Also on the day, Marton Fucsovics became just the third Hungarian man and first in 73 years to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, after Bela von Kehrling (1929) and Jozsef Asboth (1948).
The 29-year-old, ranked 48 in the world, blasted 41 winners to defeat Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 and will meet Novak Djokovic next.
The only remaining former champion in the women’s draw, Angelique Kerber, stopped the fast-rising American teenager Coco Gauff with her most assured performance thus far, beating the 20th seed 6-4, 6-4.
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