Ash Barty secured her place in the quarter finals of the Australian Open with a comfortable straight sets fourth-round victory over Shelby Rogers.
Barty is aiming to become the first Australian singles winner at the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil in 1978 and is still on track to achieve those ambitions having not dropped a set at this year’s tournament.
The home hope started strongly and clinched the first break of the match in the fourth game of the first set, putting away a forehand winner at the net to take control.
Rogers couldn’t come up with the answers to break back as Barty took the first set and the world number one moved further ahead with a break in the third game of the second set, showing great defensive skills.
Another break of the Rogers serve soon followed as Barty underlined her title credentials with an impressive performance, despite a late wobble when serving it out, moving into the quarter finals of the Australian Open for the third year in a row where Karolina Muchova awaits.
Barty has yet to drop a single set at this year’s Australian Open and this was another demonstration of the world number one’s brilliance. In particular, the 24-year-old looks to be serving as well as she ever has. Of course, Barty’s slice is her trademark shot and that too appears to be in top shape. Those two areas of her game could be enough to deliver an Australian Open title to the home hope.