24 January 2017 | Alex Sharp

Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua’s comeback quest in the women’s doubles has been halted 1-6 6-2 6-1 by top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic at the quarter-finals stage.

Barty raced through her opening serve and then struck a ferocious forehand return winner as the catalyst for an immediate break.

The duo, who made three Grand Slams finals as a pairing in 2013, struck nine winners and dictated play with 80 per cent first serves in to head to the sit down inside20 minutes.

However the No.1 seeds composed themselves and at 3-2 a rasping backhand return winner down the line from Mladenovic sparked a momentum shift. An ace from Garcia chalked up 5-2 with the Frenchwomen able to force a decider.

With an hour on the clock the top seeds had accelerated to a 3-0 advantage. Barty’s sublime reactions at the net enabled a hold but 25 winners and pin point serving sent the Roland Garros champions into the final four.

Over in the mixed doubles and Aussies Sam Stosur and Sam Groth booked a final eight berth with a 7-6(6) 7-5 victory over Darija Jurak and Jean-Julien Roger.

The Sams stormed 5-1 ahead on a packed Margaret Court Arena before being hauled back to a tie-break. Wielding their blistering serves, the home favourites prevailed in the breaker before earning the vital break in game 11 of set two.

“Yeh it is always fun to play mixed out here with Sam, he’s quite a character and keeps it light-hearted. Usually on his serve you can just pop up and not do too much,” reflected Stosur. “Any chance you get to get on the courts here is great, just enjoying being here in the second week.”

“Yeh she closed out the match well but the big thing for me finding a mixed partner was someone who has an easy name to remember,” joked Groth as the green and gold duo progress to face the formidable pairing of Martina Hingis and Leander Paes.