Sydney International: Ash Barty beats Simona Halep at Sydney International

I finally learnt my lesson: How Ashleigh Barty turned the tables on Simona Halep

Barty earned the first break with some good mixture of flat shots and slices but Simona got it back with a volley victor in the following game, reducing the deficit and creating three break points at 4-4 that could have changed the entire course of the match. "I learnt a little bit more in Cincinnati, but today I knuckled down and really thought about it and really gave myself a chance", she said.

Her play improved from there.

Halep, without a coach after splitting with Darren Cahill who wanted to spend more time with his family, was first to break in the second set and had a chance to hold for 5-3.

"I was very happy I was able to make the most of it".

Halep had to win the 10th game to extend the match but she wasted a game point before she sprayed a backhand error to suffer a break and send the youngster into the last eight where she will face Anett Kontaveit or Elise Mertens. Her slice was great today, so, yeah, she deserved to win this match.

"The biggest thing, I believed that I could I win".

"It was extremely hard conditions and extremely swirly at court level", Barty said afterwards.

"But also I was very close to winning".

"In those conditions, it's very tricky court level".

Highlighting the win was the fact Barty had failed to take a set off Halep in their two previous meetings.

"I think it's (beating the world No.1) all blown out a little bit".

Halep, playing in her first tournament since a back injury cut short her 2018 season, lost 6-4 6-4 in 87 minutes with the result dealing a blow to her Australian Open preparations.

Earlier on Wednesday, Samantha Stosur was knocked out in a two-sets-to-one loss to Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky.

Veteran Italian Andreas Seppi is also through to meet top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, while fifth seeded Alex De Minaur set up an all-Australian last eight tie with Jordan Thompson.

In a match suspended on Tuesday night after just one game, de Minaur returned to Ken Rosewall Arena 14 hours later to carve out a hard-earned 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory over towering American qualifier Reilly Opelka, who stands at 211 centimetres tall.



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