Barty survives Krejcikova test to finally reach Wimbledon quarters
LONDON — The serve was not at full throttle and the strokes were often rather wayward, but that did not stop Ash Barty from reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-5 6-3 win over French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova on Monday.
Long tipped as a future Wimbledon champion, the Australian world No. 1 has had to wait nine long years since making her main draw debut in 2012 to finally put herself in the last-eight mix at the grasscourt major.
Facing an opponent who until last Tuesday had never played a main draw singles match on turf, Barty had been expected to easily make her greater grasscourt pedigree count.
Yet she was the one who came unstuck first with Krejcikova threatening to win her 16th match on the trot after seizing the early initiative when she broke for a 2-1 lead in the first set.
But in the battle of the world No. 1’s, with Krejcikova sitting on top of the women’s doubles standings, Barty bided her time before finally drawing level at 4-4 when the Czech netted a backhand.
Barty struck a huge blow in Krejcikova’s hopes of becoming the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to chalk up the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double in the same year when she broke the Czech to love to take the first set.
A flurry of breaks midway through the second set failed to fluster Barty too much and after sealing victory with a thumping ace, she puffed out her cheeks before breaking into a smile – the relief at finally climbing over that fourth round hurdle clear for all to see.
She will next face either British wildcard Emma Raducanu or fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic for a place in the semi-finals.