Ashleigh Barty’s tendency to become the first Australian to win the Women’s Singles Championship in home majors since 1978 is gaining momentum thanks to Ekaterina Alexandrova’s straight set defeat.
Bertie again wore bandages and tapes on his left thigh and was off the service break on both sets, but recorded Russia’s 29th seed 6-2, 6-4 at the almost empty Margaret Court Arena. I recovered every time on the way.
The world’s number one will meet either Anett Kontaveit or Shelby Rogers in the fourth round.
World number one will then meet the unseeded American Shelby Rogers in the fourth round.
There is no doubt that there will be speculation as to whether Bertie will be the first Australian to host the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup since Chris O’Neal hosted the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup 43 years ago.
However, Bertie has revealed in previous Australian Open media appearances that he has not heard outside noise.
Bertie also downplayed concerns that he had a thigh injury despite having been heavily bandaged in the last two singles games.
But when she withdrew from the doubles match on Friday, there was growing concern that she was in control of more than general pain.
Her movements did not appear to be restricted to Alexandrova. If she recovers well after the victory on Saturday night, she is highly favored to defeat Rogers and advance to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.
Bertie usually goes out with big applause from the local crowd at the Australian Open, but tonight was another story.
She was virtually greeted by the empty Margaret Court Arena and the audience was unable to attend Melbourne Park due to Victoria’s five-day coronavirus blockade.
Bertie, who had only support staff members on the stand, got off to an unstable start when he was soon destroyed by Alexandrova.
Bertie’s first service game ended with a double fault, and Alexandrova led 2-0, but he had to survive three breakpoints.
However, Bertie didn’t rattle and quickly settled in his ditch. The 2019 French Open champion won her next service game, beating Alexandrova to the level 2-2.
Ashleigh Barty stretches forehand against Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Bertie once again had a strap on his left thigh. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
Two other breaks in Alexandrova Serve helped Bertie finish the set and won six consecutive games in the process.
Alexandrova piled up 16 unforced errors in the first set, but in the seventh game the service return forehand broke into a highlight reel and there was still her moment.
A nifty backhand drop shot in the fifth game of the second set gave her a service break, and she integrated it into a 4-2 lead.
However, Bertie held Alexandrova and broke to a level of 4-4, so the game quickly returned to serve.
In the fifth service break of the match, Bertie completed the allocation after winning four games in a row. A great forehand winner has decided to win.
Ash Bertie defeats Alexandrova to take part in the fourth AO round
Source link Ash Bertie defeats Alexandrova to take part in the fourth AO round