'Best I've seen': Ash Barty stuns tennis fans after ruthless feat

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Ash Barty (pictured) thanks the crowd after defeating Iga Swiatek.
Ash Barty (pictured) has reached her 20th career final and fifth straight on home soil. (Getty Images)

Ash Barty appears to be in the best shape of her career leading up to the Australian Open after sweeping Iga Swiatek in straight sets.

The World No.1 predicted a brutal encounter with Swiatek ahea of their match at the Adelaide event, but the Australian swept her aside 6-2, 6-4 in 87 minutes.

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Dressed head to toe in black, it was all business in an 87-minute procession at Memorial Drive, Barty booking a spot in the final to play World No.14 Elena Rybakina on Sunday, when she'll also contest the women's doubles final.

Her win came as defending Australian Open champion and major threat Naomi Osaka withdrew from her semi-final in a Melbourne WTA warm-up event, citing an abdominal injury.

Following the match, Barty received huge praise from former Australian tennis player Jelena Dokic.

"It's just perfection, perfect tennis," Jelena Dokic said on the Nine Network.

"This is the best I've seen Ash Barty play, seen her look, in the lead-up events to an Australian Open and for me, a favourite (to win the major)."

Barty will also play in the doubles final with partner Storm Sanders.

Ash Barty makes her 20th career final

Barty whipped a forehand down the line to set up a 5-2 lead in the first set, serving it out in 32 minutes.

Another sharply-angled forehand was too good for the world No.9, who followed up with a double fault to hand Barty the crucial break in the second set.

The Pole was visibly rattled by Barty's changes of pace and spin, the trademark slice backhand used well whenever under pressure on serve.

Ash Barty (pictured) and Storm Sanders of Australia celebrate winning the game during the WTA doubles match.
Ash Barty (pictured) and Storm Sanders of Australia celebrate winning the game during the WTA doubles match. (Photo by Peter Mundy/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"It's unreal. It's so much fun and Iga's an exceptional champion, made me play my best tennis," Barty said on court.

"This tournament was exceptionally tough, right the way through ... I love to test myself against the best in the world.

"I feel like every match I've progressively got a little better."

The victory set up Barty's 20th career WTA final and fifth on home soil.

Defeating World No.9 Swiatek means Barty has now won 12 of her last 13 matches against Top 10 opponents, which stretches back to 2019.

with AAP

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