Ashleigh Barty warned she will “make life difficult” as she closed on a first Australian Open title by dismantling giant-killer Amanda Anisimova on Sunday.
The steely Australian world number one won 6-4, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to halt the charge of the unseeded American, who stunned defending cham-pion Naomi Osaka in round three.
Top-seed Barty, who is aiming to become Aus-tralia’s first women’s champion on home soil in 44 years, will now face 21st-seeded American Jessica Pegula in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
“Each and every player, there are some similari-ties, but certainly tactics and the way that I want to play is unique to each and every player,” said the 25-year-old, an insight into the mindset of one of the best tacticians in tennis.
“I try and adapt my game as best as I can to try and make my opponent uncomfortable and that will be no different when Jess and I play in a couple days’ time.
“My job is to try and make her uncomfortable and hopefully I can execute that, have some fun with it, and make life difficult for her.”
Her clash with Anisimova was a rematch of the pair’s memorable 2019 French Open semi-final.
Barty was staring down the barrel of defeat then after a first-set collapse, but fought back to win the match and eventually the Roland Garros title.
It proved to be a turning point in her career and she has now been world number one for 112 con-secutive weeks.
Anisimova was only 17 at the time and fell down the rankings following the death of her father soon afterwards, but she has been rejuvenated this year.—APP