WTA

Barty battles back to set up Yastremska final

By Sports Desk January 17, 2020

Ash Barty produced a superb comeback to reach the final of the Adelaide International, where she will face Dayana Yastremska in an enticing clash before she bids to win the Australian Open.

The world number one was forced to come through a testing last-four encounter with American Danielle Collins but got a victory that ensures she will remain top of the rankings after the first major of 2020.

Her power posed Barty plenty of problems and another shock appeared on the cards when Collins, who defeated Sofia Kenin and Belinda Bencic en route to the semis, claimed the first set.

Collins struggled on serve in the second set, however, and Barty was ruthless in capitalising as she raced into a 5-0 lead.

Powerless to prevent Barty forcing a decider, Collins demonstrated admirable resilience in the third set.

Barty broke for a 4-3 lead with a return winner, but Collins' vicious backhand saw her hit straight back.

The same shot proved her downfall in the decisive tie-break, though, a backhand error securing the match for Barty, who will turn her attention to one of the WTA Tour's rising stars in Yastremska.

Ranked 24th in the world, the 19-year-old overcame world number 12 Aryna Sabalenka, adding the Belarusian to a list of scalps that has this week also included Angelique Kerber.

Sabalenka saw off Simona Halep in the quarter-finals but Yastremska had too much for her as the Ukrainian completed a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) success.

"Especially in the beginning of the year, I think it brings me some confidence before the grand slam, so it's nice to be in the finals," Yastremska said after reaching her first WTA Premier final.

"Here I started really to feel, with each game, that I'm playing better and better."

Meanwhile, at the Hobart International, Zhang Shuai overcame Veronika Kudermetova to set up a final with Elena Rybakina, who beat 2015 champion Heather Watson.

Related items

  • Djokovic breezes past Khachanov to reach Dubai semi-final Djokovic breezes past Khachanov to reach Dubai semi-final

    Novak Djokovic made light work of Karen Khachanov as he cruised into the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championship with a 6-2 6-2 victory on Thursday.

    World number one Djokovic only needed a cumulative two hours to see off Malek Jaziri and Philipp Kohlschreiber in his opening matches in the United Arab Emirates and seventh seed Khachanov was unable to provide much more resistance.

    The 17-time grand slam champion racked up his 16th win of 2020 in one hour, six minutes to move two matches away from a fifth title in Dubai and ensure he will remain at the top of the rankings come Monday.

    After saving a set point, Khachanov became the first player to engineer a break point against Djokovic in the tournament and it was converted when the top seed went long with a forehand.

    Djokovic wrapped up the first set when Khachanov buried a backhand into the net and he went a break up in the second after a fine lob.

    The world number 17 was unable to return a fierce forehand into the corner when facing match point and consequently exited the competition.

    Asked in an on-court interview if he is playing some of the best tennis of his career, Djokovic said: "That's too big of a statement, but I'm definitely feeling well and playing well.

    "Tough match for Karen, I think he can do much better than he did. It wasn't his day, but on my side I think I played a very solid match."

    Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a set down to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 and advance to the semi-finals.

    The second seed, who won his first title of the year in Marseille last weekend, came from 40-0 down at 4-4 in the decider to break before closing out the victory on serve.

    Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans next after the world number 37 overcame Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (11-9) to reach his first semi-final of the season and fourth of his career.

  • Nadal dazzles en route to Acapulco quarters, Zverev stunned Nadal dazzles en route to Acapulco quarters, Zverev stunned

    Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the Mexican Open quarter-finals in straight sets, while Alexander Zverev was a shock casualty.

    Nadal – playing his first competitive tournament since the Australian Open – produced some highlight moments as he saw off Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 7-5 in Acapulco on Wednesday.

    A two-time winner of the ATP 500 event, world number two Nadal was a class above against his Serbian opponent to stay on course for the title.

    After his powerful display, the 19-time grand slam champion will face Kwon Soon-woo for a spot in the semi-finals after the South African beat eighth seed Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-2) 6-0.

    Australian Open semi-finalist Zverev was bundled out of the tournament by American qualifier Tommy Paul 6-3 6-4.

    Zverev dropped his opening service game and it was a sign of things to come for the German star as Paul capitalised to eventually claim the biggest win of his career.

    Next up for 22-year-old Paul is fifth seed John Isner, who downed fellow American Marcos Giron 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

    Grigor Dimitrov saved two match points as he prevailed 6-7 (8-10) 6-2 7-6 (7-2) against Adrian Mannarino in a thriller.

    Mannarino erased Dimitrov's 4-1 lead in the final set to earn a pair of match points but the Bulgarian rallied to set up a showdown with third seed Stan Wawrinka, who eased past Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4.

    Elsewhere, fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was surprised 6-4 6-4 by Kyle Edmund and Taylor Fritz topped Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-1.

    At the Chile Open in Santiago, seeds Casper Ruud, Hugo Dellien and Federico Delbonis all moved through to the quarters but Pablo Cuevas fell to qualifier Renzo Olivo.

  • Nadal dazzles en route to Acapulco quarters, Zverev stunned Nadal dazzles en route to Acapulco quarters, Zverev stunned

    Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the Mexican Open quarter-finals in straight sets, while Alexander Zverev was a shock casualty.

    Nadal – playing his first competitive tournament since the Australian Open – produced some highlight moments as he saw off Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 7-5 in Acapulco on Wednesday.

    A two-time winner of the ATP 500 event, world number two Nadal was a class above against his Serbian opponent to stay on course for the title.

    After his powerful display, the 19-time grand slam champion will face Kwon Soon-woo for a spot in the semi-finals after the South African beat eighth seed Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-2) 6-0.

    Australian Open semi-finalist Zverev was bundled out of the tournament by American qualifier Tommy Paul 6-3 6-4.

    Zverev dropped his opening service game and it was a sign of things to come for the German star as Paul capitalised to eventually claim the biggest win of his career.

    Next up for 22-year-old Paul is fifth seed John Isner, who downed fellow American Marcos Giron 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

    Grigor Dimitrov saved two match points as he prevailed 6-7 (8-10) 6-2 7-6 (7-2) against Adrian Mannarino in a thriller.

    Mannarino erased Dimitrov's 4-1 lead in the final set to earn a pair of match points but the Bulgarian rallied to set up a showdown with third seed Stan Wawrinka, who eased past Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4.

    Elsewhere, fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was surprised 6-4 6-4 by Kyle Edmund and Taylor Fritz topped Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-1.

    At the Chile Open in Santiago, seeds Casper Ruud, Hugo Dellien and Federico Delbonis all moved through to the quarters but Pablo Cuevas fell to qualifier Renzo Olivo.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.