Dreams of a home winner at the Australian Open grew more real on Tuesday as Ashleigh Barty produced a brilliant display to beat Petra Kvitova and reach the semi-finals.
The world No 1 is the first Australian woman to make the last four in singles since Wendy Turnbull in 1984 and is aiming to become the first to lift the trophy since Chris O’Neil six years earlier.
It was at this stage last year that her challenge foundered, Kvitova powering her way to a straight-sets win, but Barty has become a Grand Slam champion and the best player in the world since then.
A tight first set could have gone either way but it was Barty who came through it on a tie-break, saving one set point, and she was in complete control in the second to win 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.
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