Tennis

Ashleigh Barty breaks 42-year-old history as she reaches Australian Open finals

Ashleigh Barty.
Ashleigh Barty Australian Open Finals. Photo/Action Network

Ashleigh Barty on Thursday thrashed Madison Keys to become the first Australian woman to reach the finals at Melbourne Park in 42 years at the 2022 Australian Open.

Throughout the tournament, Barty had only lost 17 games, and by the end of the match, she had only added four more as she thrashed the American 6-1, 6-3 in just 62 minutes.

Because of this, there was no reason to modify one’s mind about Barty’s chances of winning this year’s hard-court Grand Slam.

It took just 26 minutes for Barty to break Keys in the first game of the match and again in games five and seven against a jittery Keys in the first set.

Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty. Photo/Indian Express

In the fifth game of the second set, the American tried to break Barty’s serve for the third time in the match.

Barty made history by becoming the first Australian woman to reach the Women’s singles Australian Open since Wendy Turnbull finished second in 1980.

The Australian has a shot at being the first home winner since 1978.

Speaking after the match, Barty said that the match against Keys was incredible.

“I love this tournament and I love coming out here and playing in Australia. As an Aussie, we’re exceptionally spoiled that we get to be a Grand Slam nation and we get to play at home, in our own backyard.

“I’m just happy that I get to play my best tennis here. I enjoy it, I’ve done well before and now we have a chance to play for a title. It’s unreal!”

Barty, the defending Wimbledon champion is likely to faceoff with Polish Iga Swiatek or American Danielle Colins in the Australian Open finals.

Keys thrashed Barbora Krejcikova were devastated on Tuesday. The world No. 4 wilted in the Australian Open heat but Keys was in her element despite the heat in Melbourne.

Temperatures in Melbourne surpassed 30 degrees, with the on-court temperature even hotter. It was unforgiving during the quarterfinal match between her and Madison Keys.

Krejcikova was plainly having trouble keeping up with Keys, who was mastering the heat and wearing her down.

The Czech rising star requested for her trainer after losing the first set 6-3 and behind early in the second set.

While trying to find some relief from the oppressive heat, Krejcikova had her blood pressure taken and ice packs administered to her head and neck.

Unfortunately for Krejcikova, she was unable to turn things around and lost to Keys 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Injuries and self-doubt plagued Keys’ 2021 season, which saw her fall to 81st in the world rankings.

Madison Keys

Madison Keys. Photo/Sky Sports

Despite this, the 26-year-old Australian Open champion is presently on a 10-match winning streak after capturing her sixth career championship at this month’s Adelaide International 2 tournament.

She is was only two victories away from capturing the elusive Grand Slam title that many predicted she would win years ago.

However, she has 2023 to make yet another shot at the opening Grand Slam in Australia.

After making the semi-finals of the Open at the age of 20, Keys was beaten in the finals of the US Open by a great friend and fellow American Sloane Stephens.

Temperatures have steadily risen since last week’s very cold start to the Australian Open.

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