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Andreescu stronger than fatigue, beats Sakkari and flies to Barty in the final

Ashleigh Barty won the third match at the third out of four disputed, ending up beating Aryna sabalenka with a score of 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes after being within two points of victory in the second tiebreaker; the direct comparisons between the two are now at 3-3.

The Australian victory further away the possible overtaking at the top of the ranking by Naomi Osaka (who attended the match): now the Japanese he will necessarily have to win the title and at the same time hope for a defeat of Barty with the winner of Svitolina-Sevastova.

PRIMO SET – In a match between survivors (tds N.1 saved match points in the second round with Kucova, Sabalenka did the same with Pironkova), Barty responded closely from the beginning, trying to steal time from the powerful shots of the Belarusian , attacking it primarily on the backhand and trying to lengthen the exchanges with more worked trajectories and with more precise than powerful serves. Even a bit of stylistic amarcord at the beginning of the game: on the 1-2, the Australian played a cut attack and on the opponent’s lob she climbed into a high backward volley that settled, it is not known how much voluntarily but surely unstoppably, immediately after the network:

In the sixth game, however, Sabalenka started reading Barty’s serve trajectories on her backhand, climbing 0-40 with a two-handed long line winning response and a slice that surprised the Australian. Barty, however, served very well on the break points, saving the second and third by going to the forehand of tds N.7 and then putting his feet inside the field.

The Belarusian, on the other hand, turned straight often and willingly, and found several direct points, especially from the left. On 4-4, however, she made a comeback from 40-15, revealing some limitations when she had to hit on the move, and he conceded the break with two double fouls from the left interspersed with a forehand on the net. Barty was therefore able to close the set continuing to stretch Sabalenka on the forehand, finishing with 17 out of 20 with the first.

SECOND SET – Sabalenka opened the second set with some more indecision, mishandling Barty’s slice and conceding parity with another double fault, but managed to get out of the way with some strong solutions. After some hesitation, the Belarusian resumed pushing also in response, but the outgoing champion has gradually raised the level, giving the idea of ​​always knowing what to do. We then witnessed the best moment of the game, with both able to assert their best qualities and Sabalenka almost untouchable at the service. with 15 points out of 17 made with the first (he would have finished the set at 24 out of 28).

At that point, Barty had an empty pass: at 2-3, 40-15 he made a couple of mistakes and completely missed an attack, giving Sabalenka a break point; However, she saved herself with a great point closed in the net after yet another attack on the back line before finding a splendid damping. However, the inertia of the partial had changed, and in the next round of response Sabalenka found two more opportunities with a fantastic forehand in the running, but Barty put in two winning outside serves. The Belarusian did not give up and earned a third with a winning straight answer, but Ash maneuvered perfectly with the forehand, winning the exchange safely before holding on to 4-4.

In the following game, tds N.7 has risen from 0-30, the last crack of one of the two before tie-break, or almost: Sabalenka in fact recovered from 40-15 in the twelfth game thanks to two Belluini winners, but Barty immediately scored an ace, bringing the contest to the play-off game. There Sabalenka gave Barty the mini-break for the 3-1 by firing an open-field forehand in the corridor, but he recovered it by virtue of a forehand error of the N.1 WTA, taking him to 4-4. At that point came a double fatal foul of the Belarusian, but he pushed tirelessly in response and found a straight winner and a good attack on which Barty missed the passer by conceding a set point; the Australian’s next slice also ended up in the corridor, and the game thus headed for the decisive set.

Aryna Sabalenka – Australian Open 2021 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

TERZO SET – After a break dictated by the heat rule, Sabalenka resumed slashing relentlessly, but erred a little more and saved himself from 0-30 in the fourth game only thanks to four services of untempered violence. Barty, on the other hand, was good at always giving construct to her cuts and remaining reactive when leaving the service, repelling the attempts of table football photos of the opponent, and at 3-2 in her favor she got the first break points from the end of the first set when Sabalenka missed a bottom smash for the 15-40. The Belarusian, however, was saved with two straight down the line, the second of which in the running for her winner # 40 of the match, and went to 3-3.

At that point, however, the game ended with an unexpected anticlimax, a shame for a match of this level: at the end of the sixth game, in fact, the Belarusian has visibly accused a physical problem, and has only scored one point in the last three games, being on 0-40 in the eighth; this time Barty did not hesitate and scored the straight response that sent her to serve for the match, once again closed to zero with an ace and a winning serve that sealed a 12-1 run.

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