AAs the first Australian tennis player since 1984, world number one Ashleigh Barty reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open. The 23-year-old defeated Czech Petra Kvitova 7: 6 (8: 6), 6: 2 in the quarterfinals of Melbourne on Tuesday. A year ago, two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova had won the quarter-final duel with Barty and then reached the final. The last Australian to have won the Australian Open was Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Barty now faces the American Sofia Kenin in the semifinals. This ended the Tunisian Ons Jabeur’s success story shortly before. Kenin (21), who was born in Moscow, entered the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time with a confident 6: 4, 6: 4. “I play with a lot of confidence, I’m so happy,” said the world ranking 15th Kenin when she beat tennis prodigy Cori Gauff (United States) two days earlier in the round of 16. Last year she was in the round of 16 French Open moved in, it was her best result so far in a Grand Slam.
Jabeur (25) made history in Melbourne after being the first woman from the Arab world to move into the third round of a Grand Slam. On the way to the round of eight, she defeated, among others, former world number one Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark).
No double semifinals for professional tennis player Struff
Meanwhile, professional tennis player Jan-Lennard Struff has dropped out of the quarterfinals in the Australian Open’s double competition. The Sauerlander lost on Tuesday in Melbourne with his Finnish partner Henri Kontinen 4: 6, 4: 6 against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury. The American-British duo was in eleventh place, struff and contours were unoccupied. There was a startling moment at the start of the second set when Kontinen hit Salisbury from close range with the ball in the face. The Briton was treated but was able to finish the match.
In individual games, Davis Cup player Struff was eliminated in the first round. The 29-year-old Warsteiner had lost in four sets against the Serbian defending champion Novak Djokovic.