Ashleigh Barty can ensure she remains World No.1 for a while longer with victory in her quarter-final on Tuesday evening. It will be an all-Australia affair on Centre Court with Barty taking on Ajla Tomljanovic, who is a slam quarter finalist for the first time. Barty has to be considered the favourite for the tournament right now but it still looks wide open and fairly hard to predict.

Tomljanovic will not have wanted to advance to this stage in the manner she did although she well up at 6-4 3-0 when her match with Emma Raducanu was cut short due to the British wildcard suffering suspected breathing issues. That match followed the controversial finish to her comeback win over Jelena Ostapenko where the post-match exchanges between the pair had gone viral.

Having previously defeated her doubles partner 6-3 7-5, it was a near identical win for Barty against Barbora Krejcikova yesterday with a 7-5 6-3 victory stopping the French Open champion’s winning streak at 15. Barty looked more comfortable as the match went on, taking control once she closed out the tight first set. “I get my confidence from all the work that I do with my team behind the scenes and on the training court. This is the fun part, when I get to come out here and enjoy myself.” she said. “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.”

This one does feel like it should be fairly straight forward for Barty, who should have too much class for an opponent who has rarely troubled the best players on tour. Tomljanovic is going to be far too vulnerable on serve to hold on in this one and the occasion might get to a player that has struggled under pressure in the past. Karolina Muchova or Angelique Kerber awaits the winner of this one.

Prediction – Ashleigh Barty in straight sets

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About Aaron Higgs

Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.

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