Rogers credits NY crowd for Barty shock

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Shelby Rogers lingered on the court and panned her phone around at the fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium for a snapshot souvenir of the scene after she stunned Ash Barty at the US Open.

Rogers was winless in five meetings - four this year - against the women's No. 1 player, forcing the last American left in the women's draw to mix up her methodology.

Urged on by a raucous crowd, Rogers smacked moon balls, stayed patient - and waited as a rattled Barty hit a slew of unforced errors that led to another early exit at Flushing Meadows for the reigning Wimbledon champion.

Rogers rallied from two breaks down in the third set to upset Barty 6-2 1-6 7-5 (7-5) for the biggest win of the 28-year-old's career.

"It can't get any worse, you lost to her every time, so try something different," Rogers said about her previous failures against Barty, "

Rogers had been 0-6 lifetime against top-seeded players.

Rogers was a quarter-finalist in New York a year ago, while Barty owns titles from the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon this July but never has been past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Rogers laughed as she referenced the self-deprecating quote, "Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row," made after he finally beat Jimmy Connors.

Rogers didn't have to last that long to snap her winless streak against Barty.

The Australian gave her plenty of help to end the streak.

Barty had not dropped a set in the tournament but was sloppy from the start.

She made 17 unforced errors in the first set and then three more when she held a 5-2 lead in the third that let Rogers back in.

Rogers broke serve twice in the third when Barty was attempting to close out the match.

"I just tried to fight for every point. That's so cliche, I'm sorry. You guys were awesome. I didn't want to leave," Rogers said.

"I just said you know make balls, try to stay in this match, can't get any worse, you lost to her every time. So, try something different."

As they are for most Americans, the Ashe crowd roared for Rogers on every winner, and she waved her arms and exhorted the fans to get louder.

No fans were allowed to attend the US Open a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The crowd is next-level this year," Rogers told the fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"You've picked who you want to win, so thank you for picking me tonight."

An astonished Rogers held her hands to her face as she clinched the match when Barty's backhand return floated wide.

It was the second major boilover of the women's tournament at Flushing Meadows, after 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez defeated four-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka on Friday.

Rogers will face Britain's teen phenom Emma Raducanu in the fourth round.

with Reuters

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