Barty charges into Cincinnati quarterfinals
World No.1 Ash Barty lost only two games in a third-round showdown with defending champion Victoria Azarenka.
Ash Barty has eliminated defending champion Victoria Azarenka in a stunning third-round victory at the Western & Southern Open.
The top-seeded Australian won the opening 10 games of the match, leaving world No.13 Azarenka shell-shocked.
It was a near-perfect performance from Barty, who fired six aces and lost only four points in total on her first serve in the 71-minute match.
“I felt like I was able to control my service games quite well, and win a lot of free points on my first serve, which was key,” said Barty.
“Then I could build pressure on Vika’s serve. When I’m able to look after my own games, it gives me freedom to play more aggressively on her service games, and I felt I had a really good balance with that today.”
— wta (@WTA) August 19, 2021
It is the first time in 14 years that Azarenka, a former world No.1 and two-time Australian Open champion, has won less than three games in a match.
“Vika has this way of bringing out the very best of me,” said Barty.
“I’ve enjoyed playing on the same side as her in doubles. We’ve had success in doubles, we’re great mates and have a lot of respect for one another. That means we always have very good battles.”
Barty’s dominant performance moves her into a quarterfinal meeting with world No.10 Barbora Krejcikova. She defeated the reigning Roland Garros champion in the fourth round during her title-winning run at Wimbledon last month.
It has been a great day for Australian players in Cincinnati, with two more advancing to doubles quarterfinals.
Sam Stosur and China’s Zhang Shuai scored a three-set win against in-form Ellen Perez and Czech Kveta Peschke in second-round women’s doubles action.
Alex de Minaur and British partner Cameron Norrie are also moving on in the men’s doubles draw. They eliminated sixth seeds John Peers and Slovak Filip Polasek today.
De Minaur is the defending champion in the men’s doubles competition, having claimed the 2020 title with Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
Aussies in action – Cincinnati
Women’s singles, third round
 Ash Barty (AUS) d  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-0 6-2
Women’s doubles, second round
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) d Ellen Perez (AUS)/Kveta Peschke (CZE) 6-3 3-6 [10-6]
Men’s doubles, second round
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) d  John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) 3-6 6-3 [10-8]
Women’s singles, quarterfinals
 Ash Barty (AUS) v  Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v TBC
Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) v  Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)