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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday January 18, 2022

 
Ash Barty

Ash Barty raced past Madison Keys to become the first Aussie woman to reach the final at Melbourne since 1980.

Photo Source: Getty

World No.1 Ash Barty put on another show for her hometown fans on Thursday in Melbourne, rocking past American Madison Keys to become the first Aussie woman to reach the title round at Melbourne since Wendy Turnbull in1980.

Tennis Express

The World No.1 didn’t put a foot wrong during her 6-1, 6-3 takedown of American Madison Keys – she dropped just ten points on serve and saved both break points she faced to reach her third career Grand Slam final.

“It’s unreal,” said Barty. “It’s just incredible, I love this tournament, I love coming out here and playing in Australia. As an Aussie we’re exceptionally spoiled that we’re a Grand Slam nation, we get to play at home, we get to play in our back yard. I’m just happy that I get to play my best tennis here. I enjoy it, I’ve done well before, and now I have a chance to play for a title – it’s unreal.”


Barty stretched her winning streak to ten with her triumph, and ended the ten-match run of Keys, the unseeded powerhouse who was a revival story at this year’s Australian Open. Keys ran past the No.11, No.8 and No.4 seeded players en route to the final, brandishing a booming serve, a revamped backhand and a carefree state of mind, but she was no match for the variety and diabolical tactics of the Aussie in Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

It was clear in the opening game that Keys was going to have trouble. She looked uncomfortable against Barty’s backhand slice and found herself in lured into the net on several occasions. She was broken in the first game of the match, while Barty calmly won the first ten points she played on serve.

The Aussie broke again for 4-1 and tacked on a final break for 6-1.

Keys held her own early in the second set, and tried to up the pace on her shots, but Barty kept her on a string, eventually breaking critically for 4-2 as she went on to win eight of her final nine service points to close out the match with aplomb.


The Aussie needed just 60 minutes to do it, and she has dropped just 21 games in her six matches thus far.

Barty has proven to be a lock late in draws of late. She has won her last seven semifinals now, and won the title on five of the six previous occasions.

 

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