Barty surges into French Open quarterfinals
Ash Barty is closing in on a first Australian singles triumph at the French Open in 46 years after surging into the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
Ash Barty powered into her maiden French Open quarterfinal on Monday, further raising hopes of a first Australian singles triumph at Roland Garros in more than 40 years.
Barty showed grit and poise on Monday to end the giant-killing run of unseeded American Sofia Kenin – the third-round slayer of Serena Williams – 6-3 3-6 6-0 in a fluctuating last-16 encounter.
Barty next plays Madison Keys, the American 14th seed who is bidding to reach the last four in Paris for the second-straight year.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of his unparalleled second calendar-year Grand Slam, the great Rod Laver was fittingly front and centre at Court Philippe Chatrier as fellow Queenslander Barty dug deep to continue her stellar breakout season.
“Obviously’s there’s a little bit more talk around and a little bit more attention,” Barty said.
“But for me, nothing changes. Very much we go through the exact same process after a match. Whether it’s a win or a loss, it’s the same recovery, same everything.
“I think that’s probably what I’ve been doing best over the last 12 to 18 months. And it’s put me in better positions. I’m in these positions now because I’m doing that better.”
Back to back Slam quarter-finals.
@ashbar96 defeats Kenin 6-3 3-6 6-0 to reach the last 8 in Paris.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 3, 2019
Barty overcame the disappointment of dropping her first set of the tournament to subdue her free-hitting but temperamental opponent in one-and-a-half-hours.
“Sofia served particularly well, especially early in the second set,” said Barty.
“I didn’t really get too many looks at second serves until that game up 5-3, but I felt that was a really important game to try and get a little bit of momentum going into the third. And then tactically in the third set, I was much smarter and sharper out there.”
Provisionally set to climb into the world’s top five after clinching an equal tour-best 28th victory of the year, Barty prevailed over the 35th-ranked Kenin with 11 aces and 25 winners.
In advancing to her second-successive Grand Slam quarterfinal, eighth seed Barty closed to within three wins of becoming Australia’s first French Open singles champion since Margaret Court in 1973.
“It’s amazing what she has accomplished here,” Laver told a media conference at Roland Garros.
“A couple of years back, she was a good doubles player and played some attractive singles.
“But something happened. She says, ‘I know how to win matches now’, and that’s what Barty has accomplished this year.
“It’s more confidence than anything else. With confidence, you can make anything happen.”
In matching her charge to the last eight at this year’s Australian Open, Barty is also only the fourth Australian woman to make the quarterfinals at Roland Garros since Court’s fifth title win 46 years ago.
But the 23-year-old had to show great character to follow in the footsteps of Wendy Turnbull (1979, 1980), Dianne Fromholtz (1979, 1980) and Fed Cup team-mate Sam Stosur (2009, 2010, 2012, 2016).
Aussie results – Day 9
 Ash Barty d Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-3 3-6 6-0
 Sam Stosur/Shuai Zhang (CHN) d  Ash Barty/Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 4-6 6-3 6-2
 Martin Damm (USA) d Dane Sweeny 7-5 7-6(1)
 Zane Khan (USA)/Bu Yunchaokete (CHN) d Tristan Schoolkate/Dane Sweeny 5-7 6-2 [10-8]
Aussies in action– Day 10
 Sam Stosur/Shuai Zhang (CHN) v  Timea Babos (HUN)/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA), Court Simonne-Mathieu, second match (not before 8.30pm AEST)
 John Peers/Shuai Zhang (CHN) v  Mate Pavic (CRO)/Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN), Court 1, fourth match
Mark Philippoussis/James Blake (USA) v Arnaud Clement (FRA)/Nicolas Escude (FRA), Court 1, first match
Annerly Poulos v  Diane Parry (FRA), Court 14, second match
Annerly Poulos/Zhuoxuan Bai (CHN) v  Melodie Collard (CAN)/Leylah Annie Fernandez (CAN), Court 8, fourth match
 Rinky Hijikata/Filip Cristian Jianu (ROU) v Flavio Cosbolli (ITA)/Dominic Stephan Stricker (SUI), Court 10, third match