Unstoppable! Ashleigh Barty Conquers French Open Winner Barbora Krejcikova To Reach Cincinnati Open 2021 Semifinal

Published 08/20/2021, 12:31 PM EDT
Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) acknowledges the crowd after defeating Heather Watson (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


The Cincinnati Open 2021 quarterfinals kicked off on Friday. With all the top stars left in the draw set to feature, we were sure to see some slug fests. The last eight battles in the women’s section began with an absolute star-studded clash. World No.1 Ashleigh Barty faced off against 9th seed Barbora Krejcikova for a place in the semifinals. With both players in the best of touch, the match lived up to its bidding.

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Ashleigh Barty gets off to rampant start in Set-1

Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) returns a shot against Heather Watson (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterfinals began with perhaps the most anticipated match of them all. It was the Roland Garros winner vs the Wimbledon winner in this mouth-watering clash. Additionally, the duo are arguably two of the best players on tour at the moment. In the first set, it was the Australian who got off to a better start. After a couple of games on serve, Barty cashed in on the Czech’s lack of quality first serves. Extracting her guile from the back of the court, the 2-time Grand Slam winner went up 4-1 after the break.

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After trailing early on, Krejcikova slowly but surely found her groove. She held her next service game, and began putting pressure on the Barty serve. However, as the Australian has done on so many occasions, she absorbed the pressure and found the lines when required. She changed the pace wonderfully with her slices, and her angular play was too much for the Czech star. Breaking Krejcikova again in the eighth game, the Aussie claimed the first set comfortably 6-2.

Krejcikova fights back in Set-2, falls short

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 12, 2021 Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova in action during her final match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

As the match resumed, the World No.10 came out with a newfound energy at the start of the second set. Rather than letting the higher ranked player call the shots, she dictated the points more often. Even her service games were culminating with lesser effort, as she raced to a 3-1 lead. Barty was looking a tad bit tired, with the speed on her serves going down. Being able to win only close to 30% points on her second serve as compared to 60% in the first, the first seed conceded the lead.

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After some rash unforced errors, Barty found her rhythm again. At 3-4, she played a brilliant return game to break back. Krejcikova didn’t expect the returns to be of such quality, and cut a sorry figure. The Australian then produced a great hold to go up 5-4, before closing out the match in just over an hour. The final score read 6-2 6-4 in favor of the World No.1.

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With the impeccable win, Ashleigh Barty enters yet another semifinal. If she can produce the same level as today, it is very unlikely that someone will take the title off her. Can Barty go all the way and build the perfect momentum before the 2021 US Open? Let’s wait and watch.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

228 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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