'Should be banned': Fans fume over Ash Barty opponent's 'dreadful' act

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Alison Riske has reignited the debate about grunting in tennis, with fans left fuming on Sunday night during her match against Ash Barty at the Australian Open.

The world No.1 became the first local back-to-back Australian Open women's quarter-finalist since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 with a spirited 6-3 1-6 6-4 win over Riske.

‘THIS IS A JOKE’: Australian Open match stopped for 10 minutes in 'wild' argument

The victory set up a tantalising clash with Petra Kvitova, who made quick work of the Queenslander at the same stage at Melbourne Park at last year.

Alison Riske has been slammed for her grunting against Ash Barty. Image: Getty

While fans were over the moon for Barty, they were pretty unimpressed by Riske’s display.

The American player constantly let out a loud shriek after hitting the ball, infuriating those watching at home.

Fans flocked to social media with complaints, some calling for grunting to be banned, while others described it as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘dreadful’.

The issue of unnecessary grunting has long been an issue in tennis and a source of frustration for fans.

Players such as Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka have also come under fire in the past.

Barty eyeing retribution against Kvitova

Much has changed since Barty’s loss to Kvitova at the 2019 Australian Open.

Barty won at Roland Garros, became the top player in the world and rattled off three victories over Kvitova in nine months to leave their career record at 3-4.

"I love Petra - let's hope she doesn't break my heart," Barty said.

"I'm just excited I get another opportunity in a quarter-final of a grand slam. You don't get those every week, so I'm really excited."

Barty had to battle back from an error-riddled second set and fluky winds to earn that latest opportunity with a hard-fought victory over her 2019 Wimbledon conqueror.

She raced out of the blocks to set up a 3-0 lead with a break and two service holds before Riske got the match back on serve.

But the Queenslander broke again and served out the set.

Barty's mistakes started to mount in the second, the 2019 French Open winner ultimately hitting 12 unforced errors to her opponent's four.

Ash Barty celebrates her win over Alison Riske. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

As the winds picked up, the set proved just as breezy for the American who secured a double break to take it out in 27 minutes.

"It was very tough from different ends, playing very differently. But I just had to hang in there, try and give myself a chance," Barty said.

"I struggled tonight, but was able to get big holds I needed."

Unlike their Wimbledon clash last year, which Riske won after losing the first set, Barty found her range early in the decider, securing a 4-1 lead.

It wasn't to last.

Serving into the wind continued to pose problems and Riske got the match back on serve with a break in the seventh game.

The match had another twist however, as Barty upped the pressure as Riske served to stay in the clash at 4-5.

She dumped a tricky volley into the net at 30-all and then Barty secured the result when the 18th seed double faulted on match point.

"Third time a charm tonight," Barty said after two previous losses to the American.

If she can secure a fourth straight win over Kvitova on Tuesday, Barty will play either Tunisia's first-ever grand slam quarter-finalist Ons Jabeur or American 14th seed Sofia Kenin on Thursday for a place in the last four of her home slam.

with AAP