Ashleigh Barty Coasts to Semi-Final Berth in Malaysia
The Alya Malaysia Open has been a tennis event that has been growing in stature and importance on the sporting calendar for some time. With a high level of competition waiting for WTA participants, there is always something hanging on the competitive matches that take place here. In Kuala Lumpur this week, Ashleigh Barty brushed off into the semi-finals of the tournament, defeating Zhang Kai-Lini 6-0, 7-6(2). This impressive level of performance on the court has already seen her wining major plaudits, with many tipping her to be an outside bet for winning the whole thing.
Barty was a qualifier, who had to take the long route to get to this stage of the tournament. She defeated Maya Kato, a fellow qualifier, in the previous rounds, before taking on the excellent Kai-Lin in this match. She destroyed her quarter-final opponent 6-0, before winning the breaker 7-2 to win the game. In what was a tense and exciting match, the Australian has breezed into an important part of her tennis career – reaching major semi-finals.
Indeed, Zhang even had the chance to take the game in her control when she served for the second set, before the match eventually went to a breaker. At 5-5, it has to be said that Barty lost her cool and stopped playing with her usual flow and style. However, she fought through and played a high-end tiebreaker with Zhang, getting herself into the semi-final through dogged determination more than anything else.
This is her first appearance in a semi-final and it’s sure to be a major part of her sporting career from here on in. such moments have the capacity to make a career blossom, and if she can overcome Han Xinyun in the semi-final, she’ll be on her way to be a finalist in no time. Her dogged style and high level of stamina and staying power makes her a good candidate for matches that can turn into a slog.
At the moment, you feel that if Barty could just become a little crisper in her play, she might be more likely to get to this stage of tournaments with regularity. She has the stamina and the staying power to handle a tough fight, but can she suitably dominate an opponent in the same way that other title winners can?
It’ll be interesting to find out. For the moment, though, Barty has shown incredible progress by getting to this important point long-term. Where she goes next could determine if she’s to be one the horizon as a contender, or up-front and centre winning titles.