Ashleigh Barty vs. Kiki Bertens
|Date & Time||Thursday January 10, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)|
NSW Tennis Centre
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens meet in the semifinals of the 2019 tennis Sydney International.
Ashleigh Barty is coming off a straight sets win over Elise Mertens that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Barty won 62 percent of her first serve points and 55 percent of her second serve points. Barty won 60 percent of her total service points and produced breaks on five of nine break points. Barty remains one of the hotter players on tour, as she’s won five of her last six matches and 12 of her last 14 sets. Barty is playing with a new level of confidence and has kept her unforced error numbers low. If Barty continues this level of play, she’ll be a top-10 player at some point this season. Barty has a chance to make her seventh career final appearance and third since June of last year. Barty has won seven of her last eight matches on hard court.
Kiki Bertens is coming off a straight sets win over Yulia Putintseva that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Bertens won 83 percent of her first serve points and 76 percent of her second serve points. Bertens won 80 percent of her total service points and didn’t face a single break point in a win that took just under an hour to complete. Bertens hasn’t had to play much tennis to get to this point, which gives her a nice rest advantage and far less wear and tear than other players. Bertens has been broken just once in her last four sets, which has been key to these quick finishes as of late. Bertens has a chance to reach her 10th career final appearance and fifth since April of last year. Bertens has won six of her last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played twice and Barty has won both meetings. The most recent meeting was in Montreal of last year and the other match took place in Brisbane in 2013.
Bertens has a big rest advantage given that her match against Garbine Muguruza was a walkover, so she is worthy of being considered in this contest. However, we’ve been on Barty since Wuhan and have been riding that through the Hopman Cup and now. Something has clicked with Barty, as she’s putting together complete performances, has far less unforced errors and is playing more controlled. It also doesn’t hurt that Barty is playing on home soil.
This will be her toughest test of the tournament yet, but Barty is playing too well right now to fade.