World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty took on Angelique Kerber in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Open. The two faced each other for the second time in three months, after their match in the semifinals of the Wimbledon Championships.
While that match ended in straight sets, today was no different. Although Kerber gave it everything, she couldn’t prevent another defeat to the World No. 1. The final scoreline read 6-3, 7-5.
Ashleigh Barty vs Angelique Kerber: Set 1
The Australian began the match by serving first. And she wasted little time in holding her serve, scoring two aces along the way. Like Barty, Kerber held her serve in the second game of the set to tie at 1-1.
The next three games saw each of them holding their serve. In fact, the fourth game saw a delightful rally as Kerber found the edge of the lines to score a key point.
— wta (@WTA) August 21, 2021
However, the turning point in the set came in the sixth game. With Kerber serving, Barty dominated the German throughout the game. Kerber didn’t score a single point in the game as the World No. 1 broke her serve to take a crucial 4-2 lead.
The Australian built on that solid game to hold her serve to go 5-2 up. In the eighth game, she once again broke Kerber’s serve in emphatic fashion to seal the set.
— wta (@WTA) August 21, 2021
Despite Kerber‘s brief comeback from 40-0 down to make the score 40-30, Barty converted on her third break point in the game to win the first set 6-2.
Barty vs Kerber: Set 2
Like the first set, Barty once again started the set by serving first. And the Australian wasted little time, going 1-0 up in the set with a love service game. Kerber had no answers with her serve as Barty broke her first service game in the second set to go 2-0 down.
Aug 20, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) returns a shot during her match against Barbora Krejcikova (CZE not pictured) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Despite Barty’s onslaught, Kerber clawed her way back from 40-15 down to break her serve in the very next game, bringing the set to 2-1. And the German didn’t stop there, breaking Barty’s serve once again in the fifth game of the set to go 3-2 up. This turnaround left the Aussie frustrated, and didn’t hold back in showing it.
Wait, Barty gets frustrated too?? pic.twitter.com/t8fErXFVtk
— LorenaPopa (@popalorena) August 21, 2021
However, she broke Kerber once again in the very next game, tying the set at 3-3. While the next five games didn’t see a break, Barty left it late as she clinched a match-winning break in the 12th game of the set.
By winning the set 7-5, Barty continued her impressive run in Cincinnati by reaching the final without dropping a set. She will either face Karolina Pliskova or Jil Teichmann in the final on Sunday, August 22.