World number one Ashleigh Barty comfortably reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open today but her remarkable serving streak finally came to an end.
The 25-year-old has won all eight of her matches so far in 2022 and has been nearly faultless on her own serve.
Before today’s match against rising US star Amanda Anisimova, Barty was on a run of 58 consecutive holds of serve, dating back to her first match of the year against Coco Gauff in Adelaide.
So impressive has she been this season that in each of the first three rounds of the Australian Open, the two-time major champion dispatched her opponents in less than an hour –– winning 84 percent of points on her first serve.
Against Anisimova, Barty initially continued to build on this streak–– winning the first set 6-4, which included five holds of serve.
But the American eventually forced her way back into the contest early in the second set and ended Barty’s service game run.
Many tennis fans took to Twitter to comment on the end of the streak.
One wrote: “Ash Barty’s serve broken for the first time since her encounter with Coco Gauff in Sydney [Adelaide]. That’s a ridiculous stat.”
Another echoed the same idea and joked that it felt like a lifetime since the Aussie had last been broken: “Whoa! Ash Barty’s serve has been broken after 84 years! (63 games but let me quote the meme.”
This drop of serve mattered not, however, as the pre-event favourite broke back the very next game, before closing out the match in straight sets.
The result was another statement of intent and means Barty is still yet to drop a set all tournament.
Seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander lauded the Australian for her recent from and stressed how the Wimbledon champion has the “best serve in the world.”
Next up for Barty is another American Player in Jessica Pegula. The 21st seed knocked out fifth seed Maria Sakkari in the fourth round and has now reached the quarter-finals for the second year in succession.
For Barty, the dream of winning her home Grand Slam is more alive than ever and she is just three matches away from becoming the first Australian woman to win in Melbourne since Chris O’Neil in 1978.