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Barty blows big lead to crash out of US Open

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5th September, 2021
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Australia’s world No.1-ranked Ash Barty blew a 5-2 lead in the third set to crash out of the US Open third round to American Shelby Rogers on Sunday.

Rogers, the world No.43, won 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5).

Barty started the third set with a decisive break but was broken herself twice as she looked to serve out the match.

Inspired by a captivated home crowd, the American matched Barty stroke for stroke aside from a shaky second set, holding her nerve despite appearing down for the count to progress to the round of 16.

“I had chills out there on the court,” Rogers said post-match of the atmosphere at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“To do it in New York is incredible. Last year we were here, I had a good run, made the quarters, so there was a little bit of pressure coming back.

“Man, is it a different tournament with some fans this year. It’s truly amazing.”

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Barty has never won a US Open title in singles and her best efforts have been fourth-round defeats in 2018 and 2019.

The Aussie made 17 unforced errors to the American’s three, along with five double faults in a poor first set.

She recovered to take the second with only seven unforced errors to go with two breaks.

It was all Barty at that point until she came to serve out the match, up 5-2 in the third set.

Rogers overcame two breaks to take a 6-5 lead which Barty then levelled; before a nerveless tie-break, cheered on by a packed house at Arthur Ashe Stadium, saw the American clinch the upset.

“This is definitely a moment I will never forget,” Rogers said after her thrilling win.

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Barty had won all five of the pair’s previous encounters, including a straight-sets win at this year’s Australian Open. Rogers said that history made the win all the more emotional.

“She took me down twice in Australia in front of her home crowd… and she really embarrassed me in Madrid. I guess I just wanted to show her what New York can do!” she said.

“I have so much respect for her. What she has done this year is unfathomable. She hasn’t been able to go home for the whole season, she’s won five titles.

“The level she brings every week is what we all aspire to do.”

The always classy Barty was full of praise for her conqueror after the match.

“She came up with really good stuff and on a shot like that you just have to your hat and say, ‘Too good’,” she said.

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