Ipswich golden girl Ash Barty smokes World No.1
ASH Barty claimed one of the biggest wins of her career after destroying World No.1 Simona Halep in straight sets to reach the Sydney International quarter-finals.
In perfect preparation ahead of the Australian Open, World No.15 Barty dominated Halep 6-4 6-4 as the expectations of Australia's top-ranked tennis player continue to grow.
Highlighting the win was the fact Barty had failed to take a set off Halep in their two previous meetings.
It was Halep's first match since October after a lengthy layoff due to a herniated disc in her back. The Romanian won last year's French Open and will look to go one better at Melbourne Park after losing to Caroline Wozniacki in the final last year.
"I finally learnt my lesson," a beaming Barty said.
"She gave me a belting in Montreal. I learnt a little bit more in Cincinnati, but today I knuckled down and really thought about it and really gave myself a chance.
"The biggest thing, I believed that I could I win. We're both out here on the same court. Just very happy I was able to come out and executive.
"I felt like it was really clean, considering the conditions.
"It was very swirly down at court level so I figure if I'm going to play 'Sim' at any time, it's her first match and in conditions like this.
"So I was very happy I was able to make the most of it. Yeah, extremely pleased."
Barty returned to tennis last year following a hiatus from the sport where she swapped a racquet for a bat, earning a couple of caps for Brisbane Heat in the WBBL.
Earlier, Sam Stosur's run to the Australian Open hit a major roadblock after blowing a first-set lead to Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, going down 5-7 4-6 3-6.