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Barty: Ran Out of Gas

By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, September 4, 2021

Ash Barty could see the finish line as clearly as the baseline.

The world No. 1 couldn't find enough fuel to cross it.

More: Rogers Soars Over Barty in Massive Upset

Barty twice served for the US Open fourth round, but a spirited Shelby Rogers rallied from 2-5 down to topple the top seed 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) before a vocal Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.

Afterward, Barty credited Rogers' versatility at crunch time—and her fatigue from playing her 50th match of the season—as decisive factors in her demise.

"Shelby came up with some really good stuff when it mattered most. A forehand lob, 30-All, you tip your hat and say, Too good," Barty said. "I think there are a few things tonight I'm happy to accept. There are some things I'm disappointed in, without a doubt.

"In the end I just didn't quite have enough in the tank. I've left everything out on the court this year. It was no different tonight. I just didn't quite have enough to get over the line, which is disappointing but we move on. I sleep well tonight knowing I gave everything I could; it just wasn't quite enough."

With Barty’s loss, the the top two women’s seeds are out of the event as No.3 seed Naomi Osaka fell to 18-year-old Canadian left-hander Leylah Fernandez on Ashe Stadium last night.

It's been a season of sacrifice for Barty and coach Craig Tyzzer, who have been away from Australia for more than 160 days and don't expect to return to their homeland until autumn.In the final stretch tonight, Barty believed fatigue rather than nerves cost her the match.

"I think that tension is natural. But I felt fine," said Barty, who carried a 14-2 record in three-setters into tonight's final set. "I just didn't quite have enough physically or mentally in the tank. But that's okay.

"We've had a great year so far. We're looking forward to celebrating the good stuff that we've done, learning from the hurt, learning from the experiences, and moving on."

This isn't the end of the 2021 road for the two-time Grand Slam champion. Barty said she plans to play Indian Wells next month.

Barty, Rogers
Suffering her first loss to the 43rd-ranked Rogers in six career meetings, Barty praised the pride of Charleston, South Carolina as a class act win or lose.

"She's one that I respect, one of the most that I respect on tour, and she's an incredible person. Tonight she showed a lot of fight," Barty said of Rogers. "I could see she was enjoying herself. I think that's the most important thing for both of us, we had a lot of fun out there. I know regardless of the result, it never changes our relationship, and that's really special when you've got someone who is just a class act off and on the court.

"It sucks in tennis that there's a winner and loser every single day, but sometimes you don't mind losing to certain people. I think Shelby in a sense of her personality and her character, she's certainly one of those for me."

Photo credit: Pete Staples/USTA/US Open