Ash Barty's message to rivals ahead of Wimbledon semi-finals

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·Sports Editor
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Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, pictured here in action at Wimbledon.
Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova are through to the Wimbledon semi-finals. Image: Getty

Ash Barty has warned her remaining rivals at Wimbledon that she's feeling good and ready to emulate her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley by winning the title.

Barty kept alive her dream of winning Wimbledon on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Goolagong Cawley's first win by easing into the semi-finals on Tuesday.

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The 25-year-old outclassed compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 to set up a showdown with 2018 Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

In doing so, Barty became the first Australian woman since Jelena Dokic in 2000 to make the semi-finals at the All England Club.

"I feel good," Barty said after her win over Tomljanovic in a warning to her rivals.

"The grass season for me, it's one tournament, pretty cut-throat. 

"It's allowing myself time to feel relaxed on the court, to learn about the surface, to continue to kind of find my rhythm and find my groove again. I felt really sharp today."

Barty will now play 2018 champion Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals after the rejuvenated German outclassed Czech Karolina Muchova 6-2 6-3.

"It's the ultimate test," said Barty. "Angie's had success here before. I love that match-up. 

"She knows her way around this court and I know I need to play well to give myself a chance in that match.

"This is a dream come true."

Ash Barty, pictured here after beating Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
Ash Barty beat Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Aryna Sabaenka finds grand slam form at right time

The other semi-final will see Aryna Sabalenka, the No.2 seed who ended Ons Jabeur's run 6-4 6-3, take on Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova - who defeated Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-2.

Sabalenka hopes she has found the formula for grand slam success after reaching her first grand slam semi-final.

The Belarusian had struggled to match her form on the WTA Tour at the slams, admitting she was finding it difficult not to put too much pressure on herself to break through the fourth-round barrier.

She achieved that with victory over Elena Rybakina on Monday and played freely in her first grand slam quarter-final, keeping Jabeur on the defensive and not allowing the Tunisian to spin her web of disruption in a 6-4 6-3 triumph.

"The only thing I was thinking about is my game, to stay focused and to fight for every point, for every opportunity I had," said the 23-year-old, who is the youngest player through to the last four.

"Today it surprised me but I didn't feel that pressure of being in the quarter-final for the first time. 

"I was just enjoying the atmosphere and enjoying my game, just doing everything I can to win this match. So it was a great performance for me."

Victory over Pliskova in the last four would see Sabalenka overtake Naomi Osaka to become No.2 in the world. 

She has won more matches than any other woman in 2021 but the slams had become a real roadblock.

with agencies

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