Barty burns friend in US Open clinic

 

Ash Barty has passed the sternest test yet of her US Open title credentials to equal her best-ever run in New York.

Barty delivered a serving masterclass class to reach the last 16 for the second straight year with a composed 7-5 6-3 victory over rising Greek star - and friend - Maria Sakkari on Saturday morning (AEST).

Sakkari, seeded 30th, had beaten Barty last year in Indian Wells but Australia's world No. 2 played the match on her terms from the outset.

The French Open champion fired down 10 aces and dropped serve only once while breaking Sakkari four times during the 87-minute workout on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Barty keeps rolling on.
Barty keeps rolling on.

"This is an incredible court. New York is an incredible city and last year I felt like an adopted American playing with Coco (Vandeweghe) in the doubles, so I'm glad you haven't forgotten," Barty said after enjoying clear crowd favouritism during the match.

"Maria is an incredible competitor, a great mover around the court and plays her best tennis when she's on the move and so it was important for me to try and dictate without going into her patterns.

"It's tricky to play a friend but I was really happy with the way I able to close out those two sets."

Barty will face either China's 18th seed Qiang Wang or unseeded Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro next.

Elsewhere Serena Williams, chasing her 24th grand slam title to match Margaret Court's all-time record, also advanced to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows by defeating Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2.

The 37-year-old American, seeking a seventh US Open title, will next face Croatian 22nd seed Petra Martic.


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