Melbourne, February 15 (AP) Top-ranked Ash Barty reached the Australian Open quarter-finals for the third year in a row by beating Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4.
Barty lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in the semifinals last year and did not play another major tournament in 2020 after choosing to stay in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She had two match points in the eighth game of the second set but made four mistakes in a row. Rogers capitalized to break and then hold, forcing Barty to serve for the match again.
Barty made no mistakes the second time when she loved to close it. Barty wants to be the first Australian since 1978 to win the Australian title. She will play Karolina Muchova No. 25 next.
Muchova recovered from 5: 2 in the first set and annoyed 18-year-old Elise Mertens with 7: 6 (5) and 7: 5.
Mertens won the Gippsland Trophy tuning tournament at Melbourne Park before the Australian Open started and won the first four games against Muchova but then got tighter when the Czech player found her reach with her big bottom strokes.
Muchova is in the quarterfinals for the second time with a major. (AP)
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