Australian Open: Karolina Muchova shocks world No 1 Barty to reach semi-finals

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By David Awopetu

World number one and home favourite, Ashleigh Barty, suffered a shock defeat to Karolina Muchova at the 2021 Australian Open quarter final.

The Australian and top seed had a set and a break lead when Muchova called for the medical timeout during sweltering conditions at Rod Laver Arena.

Play resumed nine minutes later and Muchova appeared to be recharged almost immediately, breaking Barty’s serve for the first time in the match.

The 24-year-old Czech 25th seed wrapped up the opening set in just 24 minutes and looked very much on course to continue her pursuit of a maiden Australian Open crown.

With shortened rallies and bold shot-making, Muchova went on to break her opponent twice in the final set to reach a Grand Slam semi for the first time.

“It was very tough and I was a bit lost on the court and my head was spinning so I took a break,” Muchova said.

“It helped me. I tried to get back, played a bit faster rallies so we don’t play the long ones as in the first set and it worked well.”

Muchova will play American Jennifer Brady, who beat compatriot Jessica Pegula, for a place in the final.

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