Cruise mode: Barty into Adelaide final

World No.1 Ash Barty’s irrepressible form in Adelaide continued as she progressed to the singles final in straight sets

Ash Barty narrowly dodged defeat in her first match this week in Adelaide.

But since trailing American Coco Gauff by a set and 4-2 – and with a break point to defend – the world No.1’s shown why she is favoured to end the host nation’s 44-year Australian Open drought.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek was the latest rival confounded by Barty’s on-court artistry as the Australian extended her streak of making a final at home to five years.

In between, Sofia Kenin also had no answers for Barty’s considerable arsenal.

The 6-2 6-4 dismantling of Swiatek means Barty will face off with seventh-seeded Kazakh Elena Rybakina on Sunday for the Adelaide International title.

She finished with more winners (22) than unforced errors (16) as evidence of her imperious display.

“This is unreal. It was so much fun playing out here tonight and Iga is an exceptional champion,” Barty said.

“She made me play my best tennis and I felt like we both played pretty well and there really wasn’t a lot in it, so I had a lot of fun out here tonight with her.”

It was largely one-way traffic for Barty after Swiatek briefly challenged early and even earned a break point.

It proved her only chance for the match.

Barty whipped a cross-court forehand winner to stave off that opportunity then proceeded to feast on the errors that began mounting from Swiatek’s racquet.

Swiatek dumped a limp forehand into the net to hand Barty the break – and the momentum – in the next game.

As we’ve already seen in recent days, Barty is a wonderful frontrunner.

Swiatek saved another break point at 2-4 with her third ace, but Barty wouldn’t be denied on the next one, as she crashed through the Pole’s defences with an inside-out forehand winner.

The end was nigh once Swiatek double-faulted to give Barty the break in the third game of the second set, but she fought out the contest despite becoming increasingly agitated.

“This tournament was exceptionally tough right the way through,” Barty said.

“There were certainly no easy matches and I love to test myself against the best in the world and tonight was no different.

“I felt like each match I’ve been able to progressively get a little bit better and hopefully there’s a little bit more left in the tank for tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a fun Sunday – singles and doubles finals to play, here at home. There’s absolutely nothing better.”

Barty had already made the doubles final with fellow Australian Storm Sanders.

Originally published as Adelaide International 2022: Ash Barty breezes past Iga Swiatek to reach another singles final in Australia

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