Karolina Muchova overtakes No. 1 Ash Barty to reach Australian Open semi-finals


MELBOURNE, Australia – Top-ranked Ash Barty was teased Wednesday by No. 25 seed Karolina Muchova in the Australian Open quarterfinals 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Muchova won her first place in the semifinals at a Grand Slam. Her comeback victory ended Barty’s bid to become the first Australian woman to win the Melbourne title since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Muchova played poorly at the start of his second major quarterfinal and Barty ran to a 5-0 lead while trailing just six points. After nine games, Muchova had a winner and 18 unforced errors.

At the start of the second set, Muchova took an injury timeout that lasted almost 10 minutes. The medical staff took her pulse and temperature before leaving the court, and when the Czech returned, she played much better.

Muchova’s opponent on Thursday will be the winner of the final quarterfinals, an all-American showdown between 22nd seed Jennifer Brady and unseeded Jessica Pegula.

Comebacks have been a tournament staple for Muchova, who bounced back in previous matches to win sets after losing 5-0 and 4-0.

Against Barty, he started moving onto the court to hit his groundstrokes earlier. Barty, pushed behind the baseline, became indecisive and erratic.

During one stretch, Muchova won eight of nine games. Barty finished with 37 unforced errors and lost serve four times in the final two sets.

Muchova’s only other win over a player in the top five was against No. 3 Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon in 2019.

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