Ipswich golden girl Ash Barty smokes World No.1

Ipswich golden girl Ash Barty smokes World No.1

ASH Barty claimed one of the biggest wins of her career after destroying World No.1 Simona Halep in straight sets to reach the Sydney International quarter-finals. 'The biggest thing, I believed that I could I win. But I was also very close to winning.

It is Putintseva's sixth career Top 10 victory, second Top 5 win following her defeat of Dominika Cibulkova en route to the 2017 St Petersburg final and second consecutive win over Stephens following an equally dramatic 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) triumph in the first round of Nurnberg past year.

Focused from the get go, Barty surged into the Sydney International quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 triumph over the reigning French Open champion and 2018 Australian Open runner-up.

"I knew that Sim would be a little bit rusty, being her first match of the year, first match in a while".

It was Putintseva's sixth career top 10 victory, and second consecutive win over Stephens following an equally dramatic three-set triumph in Nuremberg a year ago.

She had already accounted for another French Open victor, Jelena Ostapenko, in the opening round and had an extra gear against Halep, breaking serve twice to win the first set. "Just very happy I was able to come out and executive".

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"It was extremely hard conditions, very swirly down at court level".

Kiki Bertenes, seeded seventh, awaits Putintseva after she received a walkover win due to former world number one Garbine Muguruza suffering a gastrointestinal illness.

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.

Home favourite Alex de Minaur was at his ruthless best to dismiss American qualifier Reilly Opelka 6-4 7-6 (5), while third seed Diego Schwartzman broke Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez's serve five times en route to a 6-2 6-3 win.

Belinda Bencic, conqueror of second seed Mihaela Buzarnescu in round one, dumped out Zoe Hives 6-2 6-4. He will next face Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka. France's Gilles Simon will take on another Australian, John Millman.

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