World No.43 Shelby Rogers Ousts Top Seed Ashleigh Barty at US Open 2021 R3

Published 09/04/2021, 9:56 PM EDT
Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Shelby Rogers of the USA (right) after beating Ashleigh Barty of Australia on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


To book a place in the fourth round, top seed Ashleigh Barty faced the home-favorite Shelby Rogers at the US Open 2021. Although seemed as a comfortable win for the Aussie star on paper, the match was more complicated. Eventually, the battle went up to three sets, where the American upset Barty 2-6, 6-1, 6-7(5).

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Coming into this match, both the players showed signs of sheer determination. However, for the first time in many months, Barty seemed uncomfortable on the court. Conversely, the 28-year-old American Shelby Rogers remained calm, composed, and disciplined to upset the number one player in the world.

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Most importantly, Barty and Rogers battled each other in the night session on the Arthur Ashe court. It meant that the New York crowd invested their all-in behind the American professional. Last night, they helped Frances Tiafoe upset Russian Andrey Rublev and reach the US Open 2021 pre-quarters.

Ashleigh Barty vs Shelby Rogers, Set 1: US Open 2021 R1

Surprisingly, the recently-crowned Wimbledon champion did more errors than usual. In addition, Barty also seemed in a hurry to finish the points, and consequently, making the unforced errors.

On the other side, Rogers exhibited a Barty-like consistency and an effective variety throughout the opening set. Consequently, she did not once but twice broke the 25-year-old Australian’s service game.

Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA;
Shelby Rogers of the USA after a winner to Ashleigh Barty of Australia on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Following that, at 5-2, the American served for the first set and closed it without any argument from Barty. Rogers, then, got a roar of applause from the fans in Arthur Ashe. She won the set 2-6.

Barty vs Rogers, Set 2: US Open 2021 R1

As the second set began, the cards switched back to what fans had primarily expected from this match. While Barty hardly missing anything and hitting so close to the lines, she crawled her way back into the battle.

Conversely, Shelby, who played authorative tennis in the first set, could not find any rhythm in the second. Instead, she completely went on her back foot, unable to make a difference.

Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA;
Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits to Shelby Rogers of the USA on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, the Aussie ace, Barty, cleared the deficit of the opening set. Similar to her opponent, even she broke Roger’s service game twice to take the second set. The score: 2-6, 6-1.

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Barty vs Rogers, Set 3: US Open 2021 R1

It all came down to the decider set, where both players had their nerves settled. Remarkably, it was Barty who got the first punch, breaking Rogers early in the first game.

Afterwards, the American did hold her side of the bargain but couldn’t recover her loss. And so, Barty quickly rose to a 2-4 lead in the final set.

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However, Rogers did not go out without a fight as she broke the Australian at 5-2. Serving for the match for the second time at 5-4, Barty lost second consequent serve to make it 5-5.

In a crazy turn of events, the top seed now had to serve out to force the decider tie-breaker. She did that, courtesy of Rogers netting an easy pass.

Ultimately, after rallying toe-to-toe behind one another, Rogers got the serve break at 5-5. She then went on to close the match 2-6, 6-1, 6-7(5).

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In the fourth round, Rogers will meet the talented 18-year-old from Great Britain, Emma Raducanu. How far do you think she will go in the US Open 2021 campaign?

Watch this story: Top Seeds Naomi Osaka, John Isner, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Others Who Faced Huge Upset at Us Open

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Purav Joshi

1114 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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