Sports

Barty battles into China Open semis

Beijing, Oct 4 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 10/4/2019 11:37:53 AM IST

World number one Ashleigh Barty said she produced some of her best tennis this year as she battled into the China Open semi-finals Friday with a gutsy victory over Petra Kvitova.

The Australian came from a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. She will play Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands who defeated Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 7(8)-6(6), 6-2 in the last four in Beijing.

“From my opinion, that was one of the highest-quality matches I played all year,” said the 23-year-old, the reigning French Open champion.

“Petra always has a way of bringing out the best in me, she really does. From both of us, I think the level was incredible.”

“Regardless of winning or losing, I think I’d be sitting here with the exact same perspective, kind of the same feeling of the match afterwards.”

This was the sixth meeting between Barty and two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, with the former winning only one of her previous encounters against the Czech.

Barty, who had strapping on her left calf, was under the cosh immediately in the deciding set after seventh-ranked Kvitova broke her first service game.

But Barty grabbed the break back and, with the clock ticking past two hours on court, broke Kvitova again for a decisive 5-3 lead.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray’s impressive run at the China Open has ended in the quarter-finals with a straight-sets defeat to Dominic Thiem.

Murray took the top seed to a second-set tie break in Beijing before his challenge ended in a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) defeat.

The former world number one, however, will be encouraged by his display and his tournament as he bids to return to the top level of tennis after surgery on his hip earlier this year.

Following wins against US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini and compatriot Cameron Norrie, Murray was back in the last eight for the first time in 12 months.

He was also up against a top-10 player for the first time since losing to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open in 2017.

 

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