Sydney, 28 February 2013 | Mark McGowan

No opponent seems too great for fast-rising New South Welshman Matt Barton these days.

The 21-year-old, who won his first ATP Challenger title in Adelaide this month, sent down 15 aces on his way to beating John Millman 6-3 6-3 at the Sydney International on Wednesday.

Barton broke Millman in the fifth and ninth games of the first set – the latter when trailing 40-0 – then again in the second-seeded Queenslander’s opening service game of the second set.

The only negative for world No.235 Barton in the first set was a 30 per cent success rate on his second serve, but he corrected that by winning six of nine points on his second delivery in the next set.

He ended last year ranked 426 in the world, but a second straight Challenger title this week would propel him to a career-high of about 180 on Monday.

Barton meets Frenchman Stephane Robert, who trumped NSW qualifier Nick Horton 6-3 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Robert leads their head-to-head 2-1, but Barton beat the former world No.61 in straight sets on his way to winning in Adelaide.

The other quarterfinalists are NSW trio James Duckworth, Matt Reid and Greg Jones, ACT’s world No.1 junior Nick Kyrgios, Mildura champion Sam Groth and New Zealand qualifier Artem Sitak.

Sitak eliminated Gold Coast’s Ben Mitchell 6-4 6-3, a day after knocking out two-time junior Grand Slam champion Luke Saville of South Australia.

Groth and Jones were, arguably, the most impressive winners outside of Barton but for different reasons.

Melburnian Groth powered past Korean Suk-Young Jeong 6-1 6-2 with 11 aces and won 22 of 23 first-serve points.

Groth next takes on Duckworth, who was a 6-2 7-6(5) winner over India’s Sanam Singh.

Singh beat No.1 seed Yuichi Sugita in his opening round contest.

Jones overcame Canadian No.4 seed Peter Polansky for the second straight time in three sets and, like Adelaide, will lock horns with Kyrgios in the last eight.

Jones broke Polansky in the first game of the third set before defending break points in two separate games and clinching a 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.

Kyrgios briefly was down a break in the second set in his match with Slovak Republic’s Ivo Klec, but fought back to complete a 6-4 6-3 success.

Reid downed New Zealand’s Michael Venus 7-6(5) 6-3 and Sitak stands between him and a semifinal place.

In the women’s draw, West Australian No.4 seed Jessica Moore was the sole seed to fall in the women’s draw, going down to ACT’s Alison Bai 6-3 6-2.

The result follows Bai’s first-round upset of top-seeded South African Chanel Simmonds at Mildura last week.

Mildura runner-up Azra Hadzic, of Victoria, joined Bai in the next round with a 6-2 6-4 rout of Japan’s Kaori Onishi.

Japanese top seeds Misa Eguchi and Miyabi Inoue advanced with little fanfare over respective Australian opponents Ashley Keir and Ashling Sumner.

It was a good day for Japan, with No.6 seed Eri Hozumi and Michika Ozeki also winning but there were mixed fortunes for the other two Australians in action. Abbie Myers, of NSW, defied back problems to beat Great Britain’s Nicola Slater 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5, but Queensland’s Isabella Holland lost 6-4 7-6(4) to Serbian Tamara Curovic.

Play continues today from 10 am.

Mark McGowan is the Shepparton News‘ sports editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @Marc_tennis and/or @marcmcgowan84.