“Being Able to Flip That Switch”: Ashleigh Barty on Saving 2 Match Points Against Karolina Pliskova at Stuttgart Open 2021

Published 04/23/2021, 8:34 PM EDT
Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates at match point against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic in the final during day thirteen of the Miami Open tennis on March 30, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


The WTA Stuttgart Open is living up to the promise of delivering entertaining matches with several top-10 players featured in the main draw. A lot of top women players preferred Stuttgart over Miami open as it will be a perfect way to begin their clay-court season.

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In the first quarter-final, number one seed Ashleigh Barty pulled off an incredible victory against Karolina Pliskova 2-6,6-1,7-5 in a three-set thriller. The Aussie player initially struggled to put any pressure on Pliskova. Just when it was expected to become one-sided affair, Barty switched the gears by destroying the Czech 6-1 in the second.

Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“I wasn’t able to build any pressure”- Ashleigh Barty on losing the first set

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Speaking to the reporters after the match, Barty said, “In a sense, it was probably a match of two sets. In the first set, I wasn’t able to build any pressure. Pliskova was too good on her serve and even on the return games.”

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The Aussie did well in note letting the debacle of the first affect her performance going into the second set. Touted to be one of the players to like bouncing back after being down a set, Barty found a way to be dominant right from the start of the second set.

But being able to flip that switch right from the first game of the second set was important”,  Barty on her quick transition after being dominated in the first set.

Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning the Yarra Valley Classic with the trophy after her final singles match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Kelly Defina

The match played out like a show of strength between the players. While Pliskova commanded the first set, Barty was able to return the favor by clinching the second. Now, the deciding set was reliant on which player stays resilient for long enough.

Pliskova’s resilience wasn’t enough to win the match

Not to say that Pliskova wasn’t resilient enough, In fact, she was a better player than Barty when it comes to playing big points. The Czech was able to convert all the three break points on the Barty serve and saved 14 break-points throughout the match.

Despite this incredible effort, Pliskova’s game began to falter as she served for the match. Barty pounced on this opportunity and got a break point in her fifth attempt.

Talking about that brutal third set, Barty commented, “To make the third set more of a physical match was what we were after, and over time we were able to get the match back on my terms. I had plenty of opportunities in that third set, so I just wanted to press again and really make her earn that last game.”

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With this victory, Ashleigh Barty moves into her third semi-final this year. She will now face Elina Svitolina for a place in the finals of the Stuttgart Open.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

110 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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