Barty beats Swiatek; sets date with Rybakina in Adelaide final
Top-ranked and home favourite Ashleigh Barty on Saturday stormed into the final of the season-opening Adelaide International. Barty progressed to the final after defeating fifth seed and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-finals. She will next take on 14th ranked Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the summit clash on Sunday.
- Adelaide International is a build-up event for the 2022 Australian Open, where Barty will enter as the top seed.
- With her thumping win over a former Grand Slam winner, Barty has further stamped her authority as the overwhelming favourite.
- Barty has demolished three of the top 25 players this week and looks well on track to win her first WTA title in Adelaide.
Barty dominantly started the match and carried out that momentum till the end as she brushed aside Swiatek in one hour and 27 minutes. She won 76.3% serve points as compared to Swiatek (69.2%). Barty served five aces, two less than her opponent. However, Swiatek made far too many mistakes, including 31 unforced errors, and failed to pose a threat to Barty.
Barty was given a bye in the first round. She defeated American teenage Coco Gauff 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the round of 16. Thereafter, the 25-year-old defeated Sofia Kenin in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in quarters. She passed the Swiatek challenge in the semis.
The 22-year-old Russian-Kazakhstani player started her campaign against Storm Sanders with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 win. After that, she bested Czech player Marie Bouzkova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16. In the quarters, Elena Rybakina got the better of America's Shelby Rogers 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. She defeated Japan's Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-3 in the semi-finals.
Ash Barty has won two Grand Slams in her career so far. She won her first Grand Slam in the form of Roland Garros in 2019. She is the reigning Wimbledon champion. She won five titles in 2021 - Yarra Valley Classic, Miami, Stuttgart, Wimbledon, and Cincinnati. Overall, she has won 13 WTA titles in her career and has finished runner up six times.