Ashleigh Barty primed for Wimbledon title tilt after ruthless last-eight display
World number one Ashleigh Barty looked every inch a potential Wimbledon champion after blasting fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic off Centre Court.
The 25-year-old powered into the semi-finals for the first time after hitting 23 winners, including an ace on match point, in a ruthless 6-1 6-3 victory.
Barty, who won the French Open in 2019, said: “I feel good. I think obviously playing on grass is very different. It’s a different surface.
“The clay season was quite long. As for the grass season for me, it’s one tournament, pretty cut-throat. I think it’s about allowing myself time to feel relaxed on the court, to learn about the surface, to continue to kind of find my rhythm and find my groove on the grass.
“But I think today I was able to use my weapons a little bit better and just bring the ball back into my patterns a bit more regularly. I certainly wasn’t as loose as I have been with errors and kind of ill-timed lapses, I suppose.
“But I felt really sharp today. I felt like I knew I needed to bring that level in order to match it with Ajla.”
Barty will face the 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the last four on Thursday.
“It’s not scary or overwhelming, it’s just exciting,” added Barty. “It’s exciting to have the challenge of playing someone who is comfortable on these courts, who knows how to win this tournament.”
Tomljanovic, who was Emma Raducanu’s opponent on Monday night when the British teenager had to retire with breathing difficulties, admitted she found her first Centre Court experience intimidating.
“I would say it started feeling like that once I got down a double break because everything started going really quickly, and she was playing well,” said the world number 75.
“It took me a little bit maybe getting angry a little bit in the second where I was starting to go a little more for my shots, which gave me a little more, you know, points. The score was looking better for me.
“But, yeah, definitely the fact that it was Centre Court, quarters for the first time, did play a role in playing against Ash, someone who looked very much at home. It wasn’t easy.”
The Novak Djokovic steamroller reaches third round at Olympics as Serbian finds ‘a higher level of tennis’
Novak Djokovic four wins away from Olympic gold.
‘It was a tough match for us,’ says Jamie Murray after losing doubles at Olympics alongside Neal Skupski
No medal for Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski at Tokyo Games.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 youngest ATP Tour title winners: Andy Murray celebrating with a kiss and Lleyton Hewitt quitting school
Your top 10 youngest ATP Tour title winners.
‘It’s amazing,’ says Carlos Alcaraz as he follows in Rafael Nadal’s footsteps by capturing an ATP title at 18
An ATP Tour title for Carlos Alcaraz at just 18.
‘I’m here for a good time,’ says Naomi Osaka after easing into third round at Tokyo Olympics
Naomi Osaka defeated Viktorija Golubic to reach the last 16.
Kei Nishikori identifies key features behind brilliant win over Andrey Rublev at Olympics
Kei Nishikori off the mark at his home Olympics.
‘I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again,’ says Naomi Osaka after opening win at Olympics
Smooth start for four-time major winner Naomi Osaka.
‘A disappointing day’ for ‘erratic’ Ashleigh Barty as she crashes out of singles at Tokyo Olympics
Ashleigh Barty makes an early exit from Tokyo Olympics.
He’s done it! ‘I couldn’t be more proud of myself,’ says Cameron Norrie after winning maiden ATP Tour title
It’s a maiden ATP Tour singles title for Cameron Norrie.
‘I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles,’ says Andy Murray after Olympics blow
Andy Murray will concentrate on doubles with Joe Salisbury.