Australian Open 2020: Barty beats Kvitova to end 36-year wait

Ashleigh Barty proved too good for Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open quarterfinals as the Aussie beat her opponent in straight sets.

Australian Ash Barty at the Australian Open.   -  Getty Images

Ash Barty ended a 36-year wait for her nation by reaching the Australian Open semifinals with a straight-sets win over Petra Kvitova.

In a rematch of last year's quarterfinal won comfortably by Kvitova, Barty secured a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

The world number one became the first Australian woman to reach the last four at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1984.

Barty, last year's French Open champion, will face American 14th seed Sofia Kenin in the last four.

The players traded breaks to love early before Barty fought out a tough hold after a 20-point seventh game.

Last year's runner-up Kvitova targeted Barty's second serve with plenty of success, but while four consecutive games went to deuce, both held serve through to a tie-break.

A 69-minute first set went Barty's way, winning the last three points of the tie-break – which was highlighted by a 22-shot point during which the Australian showcased her defensive abilities – thanks to Kvitova errors.

Barty broke in the opening game of the second set and again in the third, producing a delicate lob to take a 3-0 lead.

A desperate and aggressive Kvitova pulled one break back in the sixth game, but handed it straight back in the next with a double fault.

Barty managed to close it out in the next game, an ace out wide seeing her complete the job.

She is the face of the Australian Open and her picture is on billboards all over Melbourne.

But Barty said: “I’d prefer to just be sitting at home just living my quiet little life.

“I mean, no offence, but not having to chat to you guys every day would be pretty good,” she told reporters, smiling.

“I feel like I have nothing to say, I’m talking in circles a little bit.” But Barty said having the focus on her in Melbourne was inevitable and “a part of the journey that I hate it and I love it“.

Ash Barty [1] bt Petra Kvitova [7] 7-6 (8-6) 6-2

Barty – 20/28
Kvitova – 28/38

Barty – 5/3
Kvitova – 2/6

Barty – 4/8
Kvitova – 2/12

Barty – 63
Kvitova – 56

Barty – 74/35
Kvitova – 63/45

Barty – 82
Kvitova – 73

With inputs from PTI.