Kvitova getting back to her best, says Barty

Petra Kvitova is into a major semi-final for the first time since a knife attack and Ashleigh Barty says she is getting back to her best.

Petra Kvitova exults after her win over Ashleigh Barty.   -  Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty believes Petra Kvitova is getting back to her best, having been beaten by the two-time Wimbledon champion at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Kvitova is into the last four of a grand slam for the first time since she was the victim of a knife attack at her home in December 2016.

READ | Kvitova revels in first semi of 'second career'

Her place in the semifinals was secured by a convincing 6-1, 6-4 victory over home favourite Barty, who is pleased to see Kvitova back on form.

"She's an amazing human being," said Barty. "I think she's beginning to play her best tennis again.

"I was fortunate enough to play her in one of her first tournaments back in Birmingham a couple years ago.

"We all know what Petra can do. She's a grand slam champion. She's proved she can beat the best, be very close to the best.

"I think she's been number two in the world before. She's certainly got the game and the attitude to be able to take it to anyone.

"But most importantly, I think from all of the girls in the locker room, it's amazing just to see her back out here. It wasn't the same when she wasn't here."

Discussing the challenge of facing Kvitova in the last eight, Barty added: "At times it's very much out of my control, what she does from her end of the court.

"In the beginning, she served particularly well. Even when I was hitting my spots on first serves, she was returning within a metre or two of the baseline, putting me on the back foot instantly.

"Yeah, she was clean as a whistle. I have to give all credit to her."