Ash Barty demolishes Elena Rybakina to reach Australian Open last 16


Ashleigh Barty is the only local woman left at the Australian OpenMore

It is hard to make any sort of case for this being anything but a straight sets victory for Barty, playing against a woman playing in the second round in Melbourne for only the second time, and who is far happier on a clay court.

The top-ranked Aussie was the first player to secure a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and thinks she's starting to regain the momentum that helped get her to the top of the rankings and a first major title in 2019.

Barty lost her opening two service games but recovered in impressive fashion to repel the challenge of outstanding prospect Elena Rybakina, winning 6-3, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

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Ash Barty has overcome a shaky start to safely book a berth in the Australian Open fourth round for the second time in her career.

The Australian had given her compatriots a scare by losing her first set of the tournament on Monday but there were no such nerves on the main showcourt on day three of the championships as Barty raced through the first set in 24 minutes. This is expected to be a much tougher match for Polona Hercog as she is playing against the number 1 seed.

"It was a very tough one", the 23-year-old said. "The best match I have played this summer so far". "I felt really comfortable moving around the court".

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Barty reached the quarterfinals past year, which gave her the confidence she carried through the full season and included titles at Roland Garros and the WTA Finals.

As you can see, the young ball girl stumbled and fell while attempting to retrieve a ball near Barty.

She'll next meet either No. 18 Alison Riske, or her doubles partner Julia Goerges on Sunday for a spot in the quarterfinals.

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After a disruptive day weather-wise on Thursday, mostly sunny skies returned to Melbourne Park on Day 5.

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