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Saturday, 4 March 2017

WTA ALYA MALAYSIAN OPEN 2017: Ashleigh Barty cruised into the semifinals after defeating Zhang Kai-Lin in straight sets.

BARTY CONTINUES RUN, DOWNS ZHANG TO REACH FIRST SEMIFINAL

Ashleigh Barty cruised into the semifinals of the Alya Malaysian Open after defeating Zhang Kai-Lin in straight sets.
Published March 03, 2017 12:12
Barty Continues Run, Downs Zhang To Reach First Semifinal
Ashleigh Barty
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Ashleigh Barty cruised into the semifinals of the Alya Malaysian Open after defeating Zhang Kai-Lin in straight sets, winning 6-0, 7-6(2).
Barty, who defeated fellow qualifier Maya Kato in the previous round, flew through the opening set 6-0 but was pushed closer in the second before winning the breaker 7-2.
"It wasn't a breeze at all," said the Australian afterwards. "I think I started well and I served particularly well at the start. I was able to get that early jump and get some early momentum but it didn't matter what the score was in the first set, Kai-Lin's a quality player, she really is, and I knew that second set was going to be a battle no matter what."
Zhang actually had the chance to serve for the second set before the match went to the breaker.
"I played a pretty poor game at 5-5," added Barty. "But I was just happy to break straight back and move on and then play a quality tiebreak as well. Now I'm excited to be in my first semifinal and we just have to chip away throughout the year and hope the good results will come."
Victory for Barty sets up a semifinal showdown with Han Xinyun, who came out on top of the battle of the Chinese, beating Wang Qiang 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4.
With the match evenly balanced at a set apiece, Wang recovered from a break down in the decider, winning three games on the spin to level at 4-4 before Han took the final two games to secure victory.
"The first set was really hot and the sun almost killed me!" said Han afterwards. "Into the second set I tried to stay aggressive and positive and could feel that she tired and in the third set we both tried really hard but I really played my tennis in the last two games. I made a really good winner and put a lot of pressure on her. I was 0-40 in the last game but I never gave up."
"I like her so much because she is so talented," said Han of her semifinal opponent. "She's played really good tennis this week and I'm so excited to play her tomorrow so I hope it's going to be a good match."
Han is yet to win a WTA title and, like Barty, this run for the world no.139 represents her best to date .






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