No Ash Wednesday as Barty ousted in Australian Open quarterfinals

No Ash Wednesday as Barty ousted in Australian Open quarterfinals

After coughing up her first double-fault in her next service game, Barty had to fight off another two break points to level the set at 3-3 with Muchova's time-out clearly halting the Australian's momentum. Ash started very good.

Muchova's post-match admission generated some degree of controversy, however Barty was quick to brush off any suggestion the break in play had lead to her shock collapse. It was more they just checked my pressure because, like I said, I was a bit lost. Today is a massive learning curve for me, for Tyz (coach Craig Tyzzer), my team as well.

'It's taken us, Casey and I have been chatting, taken us a few minutes to try and process and think, really think about what actually happened there, ' Smith said afterwards.

Early in the second set, Muchova took an injury timeout that lasted almost 10 minutes. Muchova stepped up and played some of her best tennis of the match to take a commanding 5-2 lead.

Barty had no complaints about Muchova halting play.

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Muchova will return on Thursday to play the victor of the all-American quarter- final between Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula for a place in Saturday's title match.

After dropping the first set, Brady managed to pull it together in the second set, forcing Pegula to play from the baseline more after she dominated from the net in the first. That shouldn't be a massive turning point in the match. "I'm just disappointed with the fact that I wasn't able to bring the match back on my terms".

Against Barty, she began moving into the court to hit her groundstrokes earlier. This win is only the third win for Muchova over a top-10 player, with her second coming earlier this tournament against her countrywoman Karolina Pliskova.

With Barty the only grand slam champion left in her half of the draw, the 24-year-old had been a hot favourite to at least become the first home hope to make the women's Open final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

But the portents are not good for Tsitsipas, who has only one win in their seven meetings to date, and was blown away by Nadal in straight sets in the 2019 Melbourne semis. The see-saw continued in the third set with breaks traded before Brady took control of Pegula's serve to reach the final four of a Grand Slam for the second time. Barty is one of the fitter players on the WTA tour, so while maybe unlikely, it is hard to prepare for both the physical and mental challenges of a grand slam match.

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