Australian Open 2022: Becoming the first home player to reach the final in 42 years, Ashleigh Barty got an easy 6-1, 6-3 against Madison Keys.
It took World No. 1 62 minutes to wrap up the battle and is now on a 10-match winning streak. She improves her grand slam semifinals record to 3-1. On the other side, Keys falls to 1-4 in the grand slam semifinals.
It was a flawless performance from Barty at Melbourne Park. She was serving with confidence landing 61% of her first serves and winning 86% of those points. Only facing two break points and fending them off in style with recording 20 winners and 13 unforced errors.
The World No.1 hooked her forehand crosscourt to drag Keys out wide, and a variety of slices to keep the American off-balance on the backhand side.
Meanwhile, Madison Keys only had 8 winners and 24 unforced errors. She failed to tactically overcome her struggles. Keys won only four of 11 points in the forecourt.
Although trailing behind a set just after 26 minutes, Keys’ opportunity came midway through the second set. Barty’s unforced errors count began to tick up slightly, and the former World No.7 found an excellent backhand down the line to hold for 2-2 after a two-deuce tussle. In the next game, Keys made her way to breakpoint for the second time in the match.
However, the Australian shuffled out and didn’t look back from thereon. Barty would face no further danger on serve and converted her first match point with a cool-headed one-two punch.
Barty on what it means to win at home: “I do remember my first experience here at the Australian Open,” she told press afterward. “I would have only been 11 or 12 years old, and came down for a training camp in the second week of the Australian Open. To see how professional it was and to see everyone going about their business was really eye-opening. My first taste of it was in the juniors and I loved it. I think being able to get a taste of that lit the flame. You wonder what you can achieve. You wonder what you can do.
“Saturday’s going to be a new experience for me. So I go out there and embrace it, smile, try and do the best that I can, and whatever happens, happens. I’m really looking forward to having one last crack here to really go out there and enjoy it.”
Barty on the prospect of facing Collins: “I think the way she’s able to control the baseline and really take the game on, she’s one of the most fierce competitors out there. She loves to get in your face and loves to really take it on. It’s going to be a challenge for me to try and neutralize as best that I can, but it is certainly nice to see her back out here playing her best stuff.”