Barty hoping for ‘third time lucky’ on home soil


Posted January 18, 2020 10:34:18

Ashleigh Barty hopes to tick off another career milestone before setting her sights on the Australian Open.

Key points:

  • Ash Barty has now reached a final on home soil in three straight years but is yet to record a win
  • This is Barty’s first final at the Adelaide International, having made the Sydney International final over the last two years
  • Barty will take on Ukrainian world number 24 Dayana Yastremska, who is yet to drop a set in Adelaide, in the decider

The world number one is gunning for her first WTA title in Australia when she meets power-packed Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in Saturday’s Adelaide International final.

Barty has lost her two previous home-soil finals — at the Sydney International last year and in 2018.

“Hopefully it’s third time lucky at home for me,” Barty said after scraping past American Danielle Collins 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-5) at Adelaide’s Memorial Drive on Friday night.

“All I can do is keep trying to put myself in this position.

“The last two years [in Sydney] I have been close — and agonisingly close last year.

“But the two finals I have lost, I have played great tennis. I lost to quality opponents and tomorrow potentially is no different.

“All I have to do is go out there and try and do the best that I can.

“And if it ends with a title, great. And if it doesn’t, it’s not really going to change my mood too much going into the rest of the year and particularly the next few weeks.”

In last year’s Sydney final, Barty lost a nail biter to Petra Kvitova 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3); a year after being pipped by Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4.

And Barty was under no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge presented by world number 24 Yastremska, who has marched to the decider without dropping a set in Adelaide.

“Dayana is an exceptional ball-striker,” Barty said.

“She wants to be inside the court, she craves that court position, and thrives when she’s ahead so it’s about me trying to keep as much scoreboard pressure as I can.

“And I think it’s still sticking to the way I want to play.

“It doesn’t really change too much for who my opponent is, it’s about me trying to bring the game style back to the Ash Barty brand that I want to play.”

Barty has looked far from fluent in her opening matches of the Australian tennis season since suffering a straight-sets defeat in her opening game of the season at the Brisbane International.

In Adelaide, she had to come from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova first up, before recording a straight-sets win over her French Open final opponent Marketa Vondrousova.

In the semi-final at Adelaide, Collins forced Barty to dig deep to claim the victory in a third-set tiebreaker, despite suffering a back injury, although Barty was happy with the shot of adrenaline the semi-final battle provided.

“It was probably my first real taste [this year] of some adrenaline late in matches,” she said.

“And that is what we’re after, to try and practice those things as best we can.

“I felt like I did what I wanted to do well tonight and got over the line in the end.”


Topics: sport, tennis, australia, sa, adelaide-5000

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