Ashleigh Barty kicked off her 2022 season with a tough win over Coco Gauff at the Adelaide International 1. The world no. 1 was put through her paces in the round-of-16 clash by the American but prevailed, after coming from down a set, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in two hours and 12 minutes. Earlier in the second set, Gauff led 4-2 with a break and even had a break point to go up 5-2 and post the second-biggest upset of the day.
However, Barty held on long enough to weather her opponent down eventually dismantling Gauff’s game thoroughly in the deciding set to reach the quarter-finals.
Speaking after her win, Barty said, “Midway through the second set I was able to find my rhythm a little bit better on serve and just continued to be aggressive on my forehand. I just found execution a little bit more. Serving getting a little bit better, getting a few more cheapies, allowed me to play with a little bit more freedom towards the end of the second set and the start of the third. I think it was all in all a good progression. Work to do, without a doubt, but very happy with the level that we started the year with.”
In the quarters, Barty will play either Ajla Tomljanovic or sixth seed Sofia Kenin.
Adelaide International 1: Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari exit
The bottom half of the draw featured two significant upsets, including one right in the opening match of the day featuring Kaja Juvan and the second seed, Aryna Sabalenka.
The Slovenian took down the world no. 2 in straight sets, 7-6(6), 6-1 in an hour and 29 minutes. Sabalenka who managed to win only 26% of her second-serve points hit 18 double faults and 49 unforced errors in the course of the match.
In the quarter-finals, Juvan will play either Anastasia Gasanova or Misaki Doi.
Seventh seed Elena Rybakina and Shelby Rogers will play each other in the quarter-finals of the Adelaide International 1. The Kazakh defeated Marie Bouzkova 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 34 minutes. Meanwhile, Rogers upset third seed Maria Sakkari, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes in their second-round clash.