Ash Barty stuns world No.1 Simona Halep

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 12, 2019

Ashleigh Barty's summer expectations continue to grow, the Queenslander upstaging world No.1 Simona Halep five days out from the Australian Open.

"I felt like it was really clean considering the conditions".

"I think I got lucky today". For me, it's another tennis player across the court.

"Yeah, I completely respect". Serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Simona netted an easy forehand to suffer a break and hand the opener to her rival after 41 minutes, having a lot of work to be done in the rest of the encounter if she wanted to cross the finish line first.

Her her list of scalps also include world No.2 and reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber and dual grand slam victor and former No.1 Garbine Muguruza.

The Australian number one served five aces, no double faults and broke Halep three times to reverse two previous losses to the Romanian last August.

After losing to Halep in their last two encounters a year ago in Cincinnati and Montreal, Barty said she had finally learned her lesson. 'She gave me a belting in Montreal.

"I dug myself into a little bit of a hole there, but I just said, "Look mate, be aggressive".

"The biggest thing, I believed that I could I win". We're both out here on the same court.

"Just very happy I was able to come out and execute".

The 22-year-old Barty faces either Elise Mertens or the victor of the first round clash between Anett Kontaveit and Monica Puig in the quarter-finals.

Halep had the first break of serve in the second set and even served to make it 5-3 but Barty rattled off successive breaks to take the set 6-4 and complete a straight-set win over the French Open victor.

But last year's runner-up maintained a courageous front.

Halep, without a coach after splitting with Darren Cahill who wanted to spend more time with his family, was first to break in the second set and had a chance to hold for 5-3. I had no inspiration in some important points.

"She played really well and deserved to win".

"It was a great match after nearly four months (since the last one)".

"So I was very happy I was able to make the most of it". 'I took care of my chances.

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