barty-denies-gauff-in-adelaide-comeback

Barty denies Gauff in Adelaide comeback

Barty, making her first appearance since the US Open, claimed a hard-fought victory over the American 17-year-old; world No 1 will now face the winner of the match between fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic and World No 6 Sofia Kenin in the quarter-finals

Last Updated: 05/01/22 12:27pm

    Ashleigh Barty is through to the quarter-finals at the Adelaide International

    Ashleigh Barty is through to the quarter-finals at the Adelaide International

    World No 1 Ashleigh Barty marked her first competitive start since September by battling back from a set down to beat Coco Gauff at the Adelaide International.

    Barty was plagued by unforced errors but displayed plenty of fight on her return to the WTA Tour, as she rallied from a set down to beat American Coco Gauff 4-6 7-5 6-1 on Wednesday.

    The 2020 Adelaide champion, who last played competitively at the US Open in September before heading home to Australia, appeared rusty at times in the contest before mounting a brilliant comeback to reach the quarter-finals.

    A delicate drop shot from the baseline helped Gauff break for a 2-1 lead in the opening set and although the 17-year-old failed to build on the early advantage, she capitalised on a number of loose errors by Barty to close out the set.

    Gauff won the opening set of her match against the world No 1

    Gauff won the opening set of her match against the world No 1

    Barty saved four breakpoints in the opening game of the next set before world No 22 Gauff sealed a break to go up 4-2 but the local favourite clawed her way back to force a decider. She raced ahead 5-1 after a scrappy start to the final set and completed the victory with a powerful volley.

    Earlier, world No 100 Kaja Juvan beat second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(6) 6-1, while Shelby Rogers knocked out Maria Sakkari 7-6(5) 2-6 6-4.

    World No 2 Sabalenka, a semi-finalist at last year’s Wimbledon and US Open, struggled on serve, making 18 double faults, and committed 49 unforced errors.

    Juvan won a tight first set after trailing 2-0 and saved a set point at 6-5 in the tie-break, before racing ahead 3-0 in the second to storm to victory in an hour and a half.

    Rogers beat Sakkari in straight sets in the second round at Wimbledon last year and looked on course for a repeat, but lost seven straight games after being 2-0 up in the second set.

    World number six Sakkari forced the decider but Rogers hit back to close out the win and set up a clash with seventh seed Elena Rybakina, who secured a 6-3 6-4 victory over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova.