Ashleigh Barty news: World No 1 having ‘a lot of fun’ after progressing to Australian Open semi-finals

Ashleigh Barty into the quarter-finals at the 2022 Aus Open

Ashleigh Barty continues her successful hunt for her first Australian Open title as she’s made it into the semi-finals – matching her previous best run at her home Grand Slam.

All it took was 63 minutes to defeat New Yorker Jessica Pegula, and Barty still hasn’t looked likely to drop a set as she claimed a 6-2, 6-0 victory over the world No 21.

“That was solid tonight,” said the world No 1.

“I had a lot of fun out here, I was able to serve and find a lot of forehands in the centre of the court and I was happy to take the game on.”

Two years ago the Australian star was in the same position, heading into the semi-finals, but she was beaten by eventual Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, and will no doubt want to avoid a repeat of that.

The Wimbledon winner said: “I’ve grown as a person, I’ve grown as a player.

“I feel like I’m a more complete tennis player. I’m absolutely loving playing out here.

“It’s been a lot of fun so far and hopefully there’s a little bit more left.”

Barty will face another American in the semi finals in the form of Madison Keys, who beat Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2 in the quarters.

Keys was unable to play in the major tournament last year as she tested positive for Covid-19 which foreshadowed her season as she struggled during 2021, winning only 11 matches.

However she’s started this year off in fine form as she won the Adelaide International WTA Tour event and now she’s within touching distance of the final of the Australian Open.

Jessica Pegula shows her frustration during her defeat by Ashleigh Barty
Jessica Pegula shows her frustration during her defeat by Ashleigh Barty (Andy Brownbill/AP)

In her on-court interview Keys said: “I think I’m going to cry. It means a lot. Last year was really hard.

“I did everything I could with my team to really reset this off-season.

“I’m really proud of myself and so thankful to my team and my friends and my family for helping me through what was a really tough year.”

Barty and Keys will play their semi-final match on Thursday.