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Barty gets chance for revenge


Ajla Tomljanovic failed to convert three match points in a tough loss to Sofia Kenin at the Adelaide International. Picture: AFP
Ajla Tomljanovic failed to convert three match points in a tough loss to Sofia Kenin at the Adelaide International. Picture: AFP

Ash Barty will finally get her chance for revenge.

The American opponent, Sofia Kenin, who ripped the Australian Open title from Barty’s grasp in the semi-finals two years ago has booked a return clash in the Adelaide International quarter-finals.

Kenin saved three match points before battling past Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6 7-6(7-5) 6-3 across two-and-a-half hours.

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Tomljanovic seemed headed for a straightforward win when she served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but suffered a customary wobble with the finish line in sight.

American Sofia Kenin surged from the brink of defeat to beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in Adelaide. Picture: AFP
American Sofia Kenin surged from the brink of defeat to beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in Adelaide. Picture: AFP

The Wimbledon quarter-finalist wasn’t made to pay after also failing to serve out her first-round win over Brit Heather Watson at the first opportunity.

But the dogged Kenin, the sixth seed, proved a more stubborn opponent and played some of her best tennis when she needed it most.

The match points came in the 12th game of the second set, including two in a row, but on only the last of them will Tomljanovic curse her shot selection.

Kenin’s forehand let her down for much of the night but her backhand – whether producing exquisite drop shots or driving crosscourt winners – proved a reliable weapon.

Ajla Tomljanovic was well on top for most of the first two sets against Sofia Kenin. Picture: AFP
Ajla Tomljanovic was well on top for most of the first two sets against Sofia Kenin. Picture: AFP

The final set was a rollercoaster affair, with Kenin twice handing back breaks but a third finally ended Tomljanovic’s resistance.

Tomljanovic will return to the court at next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic.

Barty had won four of her five contests with Kenin until that heartbreaking Australian Open defeat.

The world No.1 had consecutive set points in the first then led 5-3 in the second but went down 7-6(8-6) 7-5, with Kenin going on to to beat Garbine Muguruza for her maiden grand slam title.

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