Palmerbet Sports Team’s daily preview goes to the net with Australian Open tips for a historic match-up between homegrown Ash Barty and classy veteran Petra Kvitova.
19:00 (AEDT), Tue 22nd Jan @ Melbourne Park
History: Played 3: Kvitova 3 V Barty 0
Last Meeting: Sydney International, 2019 (F): Kvitova 1-6, 7-5 7-6
Final Thoughts: Local darling Ash Barty is in uncharted grand slam territory. Can she keep her stirring Australian Open run going in the quarters against two-time major winner Petra Kvitova?
Barty, the No.15 seed, powered past Luksika Kumkhum, Wang Yafan and Maria Sakkari in straight sets to make the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time. She then qualified for her maiden slam quarter-final with a thrilling three-set defeat of Maria Sharapova.
Barty lost the first set but stormed back to easily take the second. Despite a few jitters, she led from go to whoa in the third to carve out a 4-6 6-1 6-4 triumph. The 22-year-old becomes the first Australian to reach the final eight at the Australian Open since 2009.
We don’t have to go back far to relive Barty’s last clash with Kvitova. The Czech came from a set down to win a classic Sydney International final just over a week ago.
It extended Kvitova’s record over Barty to 3-0. A 16-year-old Barty lost in the first round of the 2012 French Open to Kvitova, who also prevailed in a three-set final in the 2017 Birmingham Open.
The Sydney victory followed on from three WTA titles in 2018. She has dropped five games or less in each of her four straight-sets wins at the Australian Open so far, including in a 6-2 6-1 fourth-round demolition of teen sensation Amanda Anisimova.
Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and ’14, was an Australian Open semi-finalist in 2012. But she has not reached the final four in a major in four and a half years.
But world No.6 Kvitova has not faced a seeded player yet in this campaign. Barty will be battle-hardened from her massive clash with Sharapova. Another gruelling encounter looms, but Aussie Ash is excellent value as the underdog.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN TIPS
|Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova V Danielle Rose Collins||Result – Collins @ $2.00|