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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday January 23, 2022

 
Ash Barty

Ash Barty finally surrendered a break of serve but little else as she rolled past Amanda Anisimova on Sunday night in Melbourne.

Photo Source: Getty

As Ash Barty continues her march deep into the draw at the Australian Open, Amanda Anisimova bids farewell knowing that she has taken a step in the right direction this year in Melbourne.

Tennis Express

Barty came away with the 6-4, 6-3 victory on Sunday night in Melbourne to book a quarterfinal clash with Jessica Pegula, as the Australian calmly overcame a spirited if erratic effort from the American, who hit 20 winners against 34 unforced errors in the 74-minute affair (Barty hit 23 winners and 17 unforced).

Anisimova's errors can partly be attributed to loose play by the 20-year-old, who was likely up against the wall physically and mentally two days after saving two match points in a thrilling victory against Naomi Osaka in the third round, but it is the calling card of Barty to rattle her opponents by delivering so much variety that they can never settle into a groove.

Though Anisimova played many points on her terms, by in large it was Barty calling the shots with her pinpoint serves, devilish slice and overall command of the contours of the court. The World No.1 has come so far in the last three seasons, and has so many tools at her disposal, and so much experience, that it takes a very inspired match to beat her.


Anisimova wasn’t able to produce that type of level tonight, but she did hit with and stay with Barty early in both sets, and even registered the first break of serve of the tournament against the Aussie to snap her run of consecutive holds at 63.

Undaunted, Barty found ways to break open each set, and did so with unnerving calm, as Anisimova’s own emotions seemed to get the best of her at times.

The Aussie notched the critical break at 3-3 in the first set then saved a break point at 3-4, 30-40 to get to 5-3. Two games later she held at love to close out the opening set.

Anisimova rallied and broke early in set two to lead 2-0, but Barty returned the favor quickly and then took advantage of an opportunity when the American shanked a smash on double game point at 3-3, 40-15. Barty won four points in a row to break and trotted out the final three games to close the books on Anisimova.

It was a classic lesson in how to turn one critical point into an avalanche.

The Aussie has now reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne four years running – she’ll face American Pegula for a spot in her second trip to the Australian Open semifinals.

Pegula toppled No.5-seeded Maria Sakkari, 7-6(0), 6-3 to reach the last eight at Melbourne for the second straight year.


 

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