Ash Barty wins, but Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza exit Volvo Car Open

Top seed Ash Barty enters quarterfinals after a hard-fought win against Shelby Rogers

Ashleigh Barty in action (Credit: Volvo Car Open)

The women’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty continued her top form into 2021, entering the quarterfinals of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston. The Australian prevailed in her closely-fought round-of-16 match against Shelby Rogers 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. However, other heavy-weight contenders like Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza exited in the last-16 stage.

On the back of her Miami Open victory, Barty was expected to have a straight-forward run in Charleston, but the American thought otherwise. In a game where both the players pushed each other to the limits, Barty came on top in the decider. The victory extends Barty’s winning streak to eight matches.

With a good first service points to her name, Barty registered 10 aces in the match. “The conditions are difficult. It’s pretty quick,” Barty said in her on-court interview post-game.

“Shelby was able to control the centre of court for a lot of the match. It was about trying to get control when I could. She’s an exceptional player, it’s always a fight no matter what surface or where we are in the world. It’s always one that I enjoy.”

Next up for Barty will be the 71st ranked Spaniard Paula Badosa. She had an easy last round, beating Caty McNally 6-3, 6-3.

Major shock

Montenegrin Danka Kovinic produced the biggest upset on Thursday, defeating third seed Kvitova 6-4, 6-1. Following a hard-fought first set, Kovinic ran away with the match in the second set.

After the game, Kovinic said, “We both have pretty big serves and she’s very good hitting from the baseline. Today it was the key that I tried, and did it really well, to take her pace of the ball and use her energy.”

Sixth seed Garbine Muguruza had to retire from her match against Yulia Putintseva owing to an injury. She was leading 6-0, 2-2 against the 11th seed before a left leg injury forced her to call it quits. Putintseva will take on Kovinic in the next round.

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