ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL DAY 5
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty has brushed aside any cobwebs and fears about her form with a ruthless Adelaide International quarter-final triumph.
Barty trounced Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 6-3 at Memorial Drive on Thursday night in a similar shellacking to last year's French Open final.
Barty lost her first-round match at last week's Brisbane International, and admitted struggling in a tight three-set win in her first appearance in Adelaide.
But any concern about finding touch ahead of the Australian Open, starting Monday in Melbourne, largely disappeared against world No.16 Vondrousova - still yet to take a set off the Queenslander in four meetings.
"It's getting better and better with each match I have played," Barty said.
"That is just a gradual progression of spending time on court and spending time in that competition mode, but all-in-all pretty happy with tonight.
"There are a few things that I'd like to fix for tomorrow, I'm not really concerned about Monday at the moment.
"The beauty is, I have done enough to get myself in the position where I get another opportunity to try and rectify those things."
Before a sell-out 5000-strong centre-court crowd, Barty produced her weapons - pounding forehands, precise slice backhands and tenacious ball-chasing.
Her first serve was hit and often miss - a lowly percentage of 53 - but her all-court excellence ensured passage into a Friday night semi-final against the tournament's surprise packet, American world No.27 Danielle Collins, who had produced consecutive boilovers against top-15 opponents.
Collins on Thursday blitzed world No.7 Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-1, after her 6-3 6-1 dismantling of world No.15 Sofia Kenin in the second round.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the world No.12 who has brazenly set her sights on Barty's No.1 crown, meets Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in the other semi-final.
Yastremska toppled Croatian Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in her last-eight encounter, while Sabalenka outgunned second seed and world No.4 Simona Halep 6-4 6-2.
Last year, Sabalenka defeated Barty in a semi-final at the Wuhan WTA tournament in China - her third win in five matches against the Australian.
Asked if her win over Halep showed the tennis world she had the potential to be a world No.1, Sabalenka confidently replied: "I knew it before."