Ashleigh Barty set to crack world's top 50

 

Ashleigh Barty will gatecrash the world's top 50 for the first time following a gallant three-set loss to Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Barty recovered from the worst possible start but eventually succumbed to 6-0 3-6 6-2 to the Spaniard in Thursday's third-round clash, conceding the first set in 21 minutes.

Barty switched on in the second set to break her world No.4 opponent in the fourth and sixth games in between being broken herself.

But she fell away in the decider, winning only 20 per cent of points on her second serve as Muguruza converted all three break points on offer.

Barty had beaten Muguruza in their last encounter on grass in Birmingham in June.

But Muguruza soon found form to claim her first Wimbledon title last month after beating Venus Williams in the final.

The silver lining for Australia's No.3 is a projected rise to No.48 in the rankings on Monday.

Muguruza will play Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals after the fifth-seeded Ukranian's 6-2 6-1 defeat of Williams.

Karolina Pliskova continues to settle in to her new status as world No.1, moving into the final eight after teenager Naomi Osaka was forced to retire with an abdominal injury.

The 19-year-old Japanese qualifier, ranked 50th in the world, was giving Pliskova a mighty battle, winning a second-set tiebreak.

But after being broken to open the third, Osaka suddenly called for the trainer and soon retired trailing 6-2 6-7 (7-4) 1-0.

Pliskova will next meet sixth seed and former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-1.

Czech Lucie Safarova also made the last eight by outlasting Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-7 (7-3) 6-2, while France's Caroline Garcia beat 18-year-old American Catherine Bellis 6-4 6-2.

World No.2 Simona Halep was far too strong for Barbora Strycova, who eliminated Australia's Daria Gavrilova on Tuesday, winning 6-1 6-0.

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