Barty beats Pegula to reach semis in Australia

MELBOURNE, Jan 25:  Top-ranked Ash Barty moved into the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 21 Jessica Pegula.

The 2021 Wimbledon champion is aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open since 1978.

She will next face 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys for a place in the final. It’s Barty’s second trip to the semifinals at Melbourne Park — she lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in 2020.

She says “I’ve grown as a person. I’ve grown as a player. I feel like I’m a more complete player.”

Keys is back in the last four for the second time after losing to Serena Williams in the semifinals in 2015.

Barty saved the only break point she faced against Pegula and converted five of the nine chances she had to break serve.

Keys beat French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2 in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 9. (AP)