Australian Open: Karolina Muchova stuns Ashleigh Barty to reach semis
Number 25 seed Karolina Muchova advanced to her first major semi-final after defeating world number one Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open. The Czech player made a remarkable comeback, beating the latter 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals. Muchova will now face Jennifer Brady in the semis, who beat Jessica Pegula in her quarter-final clash. Here is more.
Barty won the opening set 6-1 in just 25 minutes, making it a one-sided contest. In the second set, Muchova took a medical time-out off court with a visit from the physio and doctor. The latter made a comeback from 1-2 down after the brief break, eventually winning the set 6-3. Muchova continued to ride her momentum, and won the final set 6-2.
Muchova hasn't lost a match in 2021, extending her record to 8-0 after her first career win over a world number one. She came into the match riding the confidence of two crucial wins over sixth seed Karolina Pliskova and Elise Mertens. Playing just her third main draw at the Australian Open, Muchova had yet to drop a set before the match.
Muchova's comeback over Barty was her third notable comeback win of her standout tournament. The former won 7-5, 7-5 vs Pliskova and 7-6(5), 7-5 vs Mertens. Against Barty, Muchova claimed 12 of the final 15 games to script history.
Speaking on her loss, Barty said, "I would have liked to have just been a little bit sharper the next game. Started well with the first point, just made a couple loose errors in that game." "I think for the rest of the set, that was the story. Probably pressed a little bit trying to be overly aggressive."
In an all-American showdown, 22nd seed Jennifer Brady trounced Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to secure a spot in the Australian Open semi-finals. With a spectacular victory, Brady continued her astonishing run at hard court Grand Slam events, marching into her second semi-final in the last two major events on that surface. Notably, Brady had dropped only 17 games en route to the quarter-finals.