'Flawless': Ash Barty on fire in Australian Open walkover
Ash Barty has made short work of Italian 30th seed Camila Giorgi to win through to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
The world No.1 looked a class above on Rod Laver arena to breeze her way to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Giorgi.
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Barty was able to save four break points while serving for the first set, an indication of the sheer level of control she exercised over the match.
Her first serve was where she did all her damage, winning more than 90% of them despite only throwing down four aces for the match.
Conversely, the typically powerful Giorgi was unable to maintain enough accuracy on her first serve, with Barty pouncing on the Italian's hesitance.
The clash with Giorgi was played at the same time as key rival Naomi Osaka's clash with Amanda Anisimova, which went the distance to three sets.
By the end of the first set, The Tennis Podcast posted on Twitter that Barty has held her serve an incredible 52 consecutive times to start off 2022 on an unrelentingly high note.
Fans on Twitter were mesmerised by the vintage Barty performance, both during and after the match.
Ash Barty has now held serve 52 consecutive times and is up 6-2 on Camila Giorgi.
Just no. 1 things, really.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 21, 2022
Loving the confidence from @ashbarty… happy to give her game plan before the fourth round clash and finishes the interview with a little “onya” and wink to Courier. What a star. When talent, combined with hard work/discipline meets belief - you’re away!
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_Meadows) January 21, 2022
Clinical. Very professional display @ashbarty. Into the 4th round. Good to see Joycey get a wrap post match! #9WWOS #AusOpen @wwos
— Peter Psaltis (@peterp79) January 21, 2022
Ash looking fierce. And determined.👊🏼#AshBarty #BartyParty #AusOpen
— steve taylor (@thatstevetaylor) January 21, 2022
That was flawless from Ash Barty, again.
6-2, 6-3 over the always dangerous Camila Giorgi to reach the last 16 of the #AusOpen. Just over an hour…
Awaits Osaka or Anisimova.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 21, 2022
Requiring just one hour to move on to the next round, Barty was pleased with her performance after the match.
"I think I looked after my service games really well, I did well to get out of a tricky one being 0-40 down, I was just able to keep momentum going and make returns when it mattered," she said.
"Overall it was a pretty good performance I think."
Krejcikova to face resurgent Victoria Azarenka in Aus Open fourth round
Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has upped her bid for a third Australian Open crown with a brutal third-round dispatch of Elina Svitolina.
Azarenka blasted past the 15th seed 6-0 6-2 in 67 minutes to be the first player through to the Open's last 16.
"I feel like I played really well tactically and that really never let her into the game," Azarenka said.
"She's a great competitor and I tried to stay on top of her as much as possible and not let her breathe in a way.
"That was my goal before the match and I feel like I executed that well."
Champion at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013 before taking time off to have her son Leo - now aged five - Azarenka has serious hardcourt credentials.
The Belarusian has also reached three US Open finals, most recently two years ago when she beat Serena Williams before falling to Naomi Osaka in the title match.
Azarenka could potentially meet Osaka in the semi-finals and thwart the Japanese titleholder's own quest for a third Open triumph in Melbourne.
First she'll need to get past French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova on Sunday after the fourth-seeded Czech needed three sets to overcome Jelena Ostapenko 2-6 6-4 6-4.
Fifth seed Maria Sakkari enjoyed a much smoother passage to the last 16, downing Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-1.
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