Ash Barty was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Simona Halep in their second round tie at the 2019 WTA Sydney International on Wednesday.
Australia’s world number 15, who has also played cricket in the Women’s Big Bash League, allowed Halep no chance of mounting any kind of a fightback in her straight-set win.
Barty broke Halep in the first set before the Romanian evened it up. However, the Aussie’s relentless play made for compelling viewing and resulted in another break of serve for her as she went on to pocket the first set.
Halep had the first break of serve in the second set and even served to make it 5-3 but Barty rattled off successive breaks to take the set 6-4 and complete a straight-set win over the French Open winner.
This was after Barty had shut out another Grand Slam winner in her first round match, defeating Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets too. This was after Barty had a brilliant 2018 and rose into the top 20 of the rankings and maintained it till the very end of the season to feature at the WTA Elite Trophy. She went on to win that title.
Earlier, two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza was left with no option but to give her opponent Kiki Bertens a walkover before her second round match. Muguruza looked to have suffered an illness because of which she decided not to aggravate it further, mindful of the Australia Open that kick-starts in less than four days.
Having defeated Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-4 in her opening round match, the world number 16 withdrew before her match against the Dutchwoman Bertens. Bertens will now play one of Sloane Stephens and Yulia Putintseva in her quarter-final.