Aussies in Action: Barty on fire; Kokkinakis into home semi-final

Ash Barty waves to the crowd after an emphatic victory over Sofia Kenin. Image: Adelaide International

Ash Barty dominated a Grand Slam winner on Friday in Adelaide, securing her safe passage into the semi-final. Elsewhere, a pair of Australian wildcards are through to the Melbourne Summer Set women’s doubles semi-final.

Adelaide International (WTA)

Former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin came out to play against her second Aussie opponent in just 16 hours on Friday.

The challenge this time? World No. 1 Ash Barty.

The sixth seed understandably looked sluggish early and managed to save four break points before Barty eventually took a 4-2 lead.

Following last night’s gruelling victory against Ajla Tomljanovic, Kenin was unable to get back on level terms, and eventually dropped the first set to Australia’s best female player.

Ash Barty served 17 aces in a thumping performance. Photo: Tennis Australia

The Queenslander dominated the second set, with her serve the main weapon as Kenin wasn’t able to produce a break-point throughout the match.

An emphatic performance was greeted by cheers from a parochial crowd as the Australian completed a one-sided encounter, 6-3 6-4.

Barty was thrilled with the ability to defend her serve comfortably, which included 17 aces.

“I was able to look after my service games pretty well,” she said after the match.

She also spoke of her pleasure in defeating two American stars in Kenin and Coco Gauff early in the summer.

“That’s what you want. Honestly, it’s nice to come out here and be tested right from the start,” she said.

“It is nice now to be back in the flow of things and playing another Aussie summer.”

Barty was in a typically jovial mood after the match, joking about the cold and wet Adelaide weather.

“This is garbage, this needs to change,” joked Barty as she confirmed only one jacket was packed in her luggage.

Following the Memorial Drive upgrade, Barty was full of praise that they were able to continue through the poor weather.

“The beautiful facilities here at the (Memorial) Drive allows us to play through the weather.”

Barty will now move into the Adelaide International semi-final and face the winner of Iga Swiatek and Victoria Azarenka.

The top seed backed up her singles win with a doubles win later in the evening, as herself and Storm Sanders progressed into the women’s final, defeating Nadiia Kichenok and Sania Mirza, 6-1 2-6 (10-8).

Ash Barty and Storm Sanders are through to the Final. Image: Tennis Australia

Adelaide International (ATP)

Aleksandar Vukic and Edward Winter played Tomislav Brkic from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mexican Santiago Gonzalez at Memorial Drive on Friday. The Australian pair were lacklustre throughout the match, unable to break serve once in a 6-2 6-3 thrashing. Brkic and Gonzalez now move into tomorrow’s semi-final full of confidence.

Adelaide’s Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Mikael Ymer late on Friday night to secure a first home semi-final appearance.

Kokkinakis played with confidence following a famous victory over American Frances Tiafoe on Wednesday.

The South Australian, fresh from being awarded an Australian Open wildcard, and the Swede both produced some incredible stroke-play in an entertaining three-set encounter.

Thanasi Kokkinakis plays a backhand in Adelaide. Photo: Adelaide International

It was Ymer who crumbled under the pressure when serving to stay in the match, with Kokkinakis breaking his serve in the final game.

The match finished at 12:16am, with the 171st ranked Australian winning, 7-6(9) 4-6 6-4.

Kokkinakis will now face Frenchman Gael Monfils in the semi-final.

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Melbourne Summer Set #1 (WTA)

Wildcards Destanee Aiava and Lizette Cabrera are into the semi-final of the Melbourne Summer Set after a fantastic win over veterans Sara Sorribes and Kirsten Flipkens.

The Aussie’s took a tight first set, before the Spain and Belgium pairing put the hammer down and crushed Aiava and Cabrera in the second set.

Destanee Aiava and Lizette Cabrera. Photo: Tennis Australia

As has been the case throughout the tournament, the deciding set was a super-tiebreaker, which the Aussie pairing controlled from the outset to win in impressive fashion, 7-5 1-6 (10-6).

Aiava and Cabrera will be looking to cause a third successive upset when they face Italian pairing Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini on Saturday.

Melbourne Summer Set #2 (WTA)

Astra Sharma and Swiss partner Viktorija Golubic were defeated by Egyptian Mayar Sherif and Tereza Martincova from the Czech Rupublic tonight at Melbourne Park.

The winners will play against top seeds Samantha Stosur and Shaui Zhang tomorrow for a spot in Sunday’s final.

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