Mason, Ohio, USA (AP) – Ash Party beat Barbora Krijkova 6-2, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Western and Southern Open.
The Australian, world number one, will face Germany’s two-time finalist Angelique Kerber in Cincinnati, who won the quarter-final duel when two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova retired in the second set with a stomach problem.
Kerber won the first set 6-4 and tied 3-3 in the second.
He defeated Barty Kerber in the semifinals of Wimbledon in July. They have sporadic wins in their last six matches.
“One of the best competitors in the world,” Barty stressed. “Angie is never far from her best tennis game, but even on the days when she’s not playing at her best, she finds a way to stay in the games. When you play against Angie, you walk a fine line where you don’t want to push too hard but you don’t want to be defensive. Extremely, too, as it can force you to move around the court.”
Barty, who led the world rankings for 87 weeks, has not lost a group at this edition of the competition in Cincinnati, preparing for the US Open.
Her biggest challenge came against Heather Watson in the second round. Then Partey sent Victoria Azarenka and Krizhikova in straight sets.
The Australian was not afraid of the sweltering heat and humidity during his first morning game at the Leander Family Tennis Center.
“It was like a summer’s day in Brisbane,” he considered. “The heat is by no means an issue for me. It’s nice to play the first match of the day. You know when to start, which is not very common in the tennis world.”
Barty won 84% of her first serve against Krijkova and four of her eight break points. I only made 15 non-forced errors.
He hit seven aces on Friday and has 15 in the championship.
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