Another square, yet another great victory Ashleigh Barty, who crashed Jessica Pegula to ensure access to the semi-finals of the Australian Open 2022. There has never been a story on the concrete of the Rod Laver Arena between the two players, with the world number 1 who just left the crumbs to her opponent by overwhelming her with a clear 6-2 6-0 in just over an hour of play.
Ashleigh Barty who has found her best ally - as always - in the backhand slice, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and effective shots in her rich arsenal. A shot that, however, is part of an ensemble that makes the Australian "the best player on the planet".
This is how an enthusiastic Jim Courier defines it. The former American tennis player, commenting for Channel 9, praised the 25-year-old from Ipswich after her success on the Pegula. Only words of great praise come from Jim Courier's mouth as he discusses the performance of Ashleigh Barty, who demolished her quarter-final opponent Jessica Pegula and will now face Madison Keys for a place in the Australian Open final.
Courier focused mainly on what is probably the Australian's best weapon, the backhand in slice: "It is indisputable that she is the best player on the planet.Here comes a break point and again, the slice, it stays so low.
Ash's slice technique is probably the best backhand slice technique in the world, point, in men's or women's tennis." The former world number 1, now a television commentator, compared Barty's backhand in slice to that of another master of this fundamental, Roger Federer: "Roger Federer if you went back to Switzerland to listen, it's true, I said friend.
Let's call it a tie!" Hence the reply from Ashleigh Barty herself, who thanked Courier for the compliments: "This is very kind of Jim. I think everyone's shots are unique. I think of course Roger has one of the most outstanding slice backhands in the game.
Mine is very far from that. Absolutely, there's no stretch of the imagination to say we're on the same page. But I love using my slice, I love being creative with it, using it offensively and defensively. Over the course of my career I have learned that it is a weapon for me.
I try to use it when I have to. But being able to use it with variety and having different options has been a big part of my game for the last couple of years of my career."