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2019 Sydney International
Women's singles, quarter-finals
Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney
Ashleigh Barty vs Elise Mertens
Ashleigh Barty and Elise Mertens will clash in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International as the Australian looks to make another final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2:30pm (AEDT).
The Australian has been in fine form to start the new season, and it’s got fans starting to wonder if Barty can roll through the Australian Open.
A beatdown of Garbine Muguruza at the Hopman Cup in Perth, as well as one over Alize Cornet was quality, but it’s the two straight-set victories in Sydney which have got people talking.
While the first one over Jelena Ostapenko was maybe to be expected on the hard court, the second over world No.1 Simona Halep wasn’t.
The 6-4, 6-4 victory yesterday saw Barty be aggressive, defend well when needed and use her strong all court game and net skills to put the Romanian under pressure from the word go.
It worked a treat for Barty, who is now through to the quarter-finals and, with the draw opening up nicely, should now be expected to go to the same spot as last year.
She takes on a Belgian powerhouse in this match, with Mertens having a fabulous 2018 season to end up ranked as world No.12.
Mertens has had an indifferent start to the new season though and will need to pick things up in a hurry if she wants to match her 2018 Australian summer of tennis.
A first-round exit at the Brisbane International to Kiki Bertens wasn’t in the script, and neither was taking three sets to blast past Katerina Siniakova in the first round at Sydney.
Her performance yesterday against Anett Kontaveit in straight sets yesterday was a much better performance, with her serve finally catching fire, but she is still going to need more improvement to battle Barty.
Despite the power packet game of Mertens, Barty is in all sorts of form and should be able to force her way to victory with excellent court movement and net play, setting up another semi-final.
Barty in straight sets.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match at the Sydney International from around 2:30pm (AEDT) or at the conclusion of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andreas Seppi on the Ken Rosewall Arena and don’t forget to add a comment below.
Start time: Around 2:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney
TV: Live, Channel 9
Online: Live, 9Now
Betting: Barty $1.49, Mertens $2.63
Overall record: Never played