World number one Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic are set to meet in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, marking the first time two Australian women have met in the final eight in 41 years.
2019 French Open champion Barty has dropped just one set on her way to the quarterfinals, defeating reigning French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. The victory ended Krejcikova 15 match winning streak, instead cementing Barty's place as the tournament favourite and dispelling any fears that the 25-year-old may have carried an injury into the tournament.
🔜 Quarter Finals 💚💜 pic.twitter.com/pPOFjtzwpw
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) July 5, 2021
“That was a tough match – Barbora has had an incredible year,” Barty said after the match.
“I'm just happy to come through in the end. I found some pretty good stuff when I needed it most, which is great.
"As much as it's frustrating at times, I love testing myself against the best in the world and there's certainly no place I'd rather be at the moment.”
Fellow Australian Tomljanovic also progressed, moving through after British teen sensation Emma Raducanu was forced to retire with a stomach aliment.
Ajla Tomljanovic is into her 1st career Slam quarterfinal after Emma Raducanu forced to retire down 64 30.
Strong effort from Tomljanovic in the final two games of the 1st set, saving 2 BPs and then saving 3 GPs to break for the set.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 5, 2021
After 75 minutes on court, with the scores 4-6, 0-3, Raducanu called for the trainer and was shown struggling to breath, after receiving brief treatment off the court, the Brit retired, sending Tomljanovic through to the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career.
“Because of the circumstances, it hasn't sunk in that I'm in the quarters. But to be playing Ash, two Aussies, with one of us sure to go to the semis – it's great. I think everyone back home is really happy. I'm thrilled to play Ash. It will be a great match.” Tomljanovic told media.
The all-Australian match, scheduled as the third up on centre court on Tuesday, marks the first time the two Australians have played each other.
The Wimbledon scheduling has already given Barty a slight upper hand over her compatriot. The world number one was first up on court one, wrapping her match up before 3pm local time. Tomljanovic however, had to wait for the five-set Zverev, Auger-Aliassime match to finish before taking the court around 8pm local time. The quarterfinal is scheduled for not before 4:30pm local time on Tuesday.
Ash Barty finished her fourth round match at 2:42 pm on Court 1.
The match to determine her opponent tomorrow, Raducanu-Tomljanovic, is yet to begin on Court 1, still waiting for this fifth set of FAA-Zverev.
Fairly baffling to put the men's match between those two.#Wimbledon
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 5, 2021
Barty will go into the match as favourite, her French Open trophy providing enough proof that she can handle the stress of the final week of a slam. World number 75 Tomljanovic though, has never progressed this far into a major tournament. However, the WTA remains predictably unpredictable and on the right day, Tomljanovic has the power and skill to pull off the upset win.
Regardless of the winner, Australia is guaranteed a player in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005. Barty seemed to sum up the achievement best herself: "Obviously, it's incredible for Aussie tennis."