Melbourne, January 28: Ash Barty ended a 36-year wait for her nation by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals with a straight-sets win over Petra Kvitova.
In a rematch of last year's quarter-final won comfortably by Kvitova, Barty secured a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday (January 28).
The world number one became the first Australian woman to reach the last four at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1984.
Barty, last year's French Open champion, will face American 14th seed Sofia Kenin in the last four.
Into the final 4⃣‼️— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2020
Top seed @ashbarty posts her best #AusOpen result to date, reaching the semifinals with a 7-6(6) 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova.
She's the first Aussie woman to reach this stage since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 🇦🇺#AO2020 pic.twitter.com/gPQfhEuzLC
The players traded breaks to love early before Barty fought out a tough hold after a 20-point seventh game.
Last year's runner-up Kvitova targeted Barty's second serve with plenty of success, but while four consecutive games went to deuce, both held serve through to a tie-break.
A 69-minute first set went Barty's way, winning the last three points of the tie-break – which was highlighted by a 22-shot point during which the Australian showcased her defensive abilities – thanks to Kvitova errors.
Barty broke in the opening game of the second set and again in the third, producing a delicate lob to take a 3-0 lead.
A desperate and aggressive Kvitova pulled one break back in the sixth game, but handed it straight back in the next with a double fault.
Barty managed to close it out in the next game, an ace out wide seeing her complete the job.
Ash Barty  bt Petra Kvitova  7-6 (8-6) 6-2
Barty – 20/28
Kvitova – 28/38
Barty – 5/3
Kvitova – 2/6
BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 4/8
Kvitova – 2/12
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Barty – 63
Kvitova – 56
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Barty – 74/35
Kvitova – 63/45
Barty – 82
Kvitova – 73