Tennis news - Ashleigh Barty beats Veronika Kudermetova to book quarter-final spot in Rome
World number one Ashleigh Barty booked her place in the last 16 of WTA Rome with a dominant performance over Russian Veronika Kudermetova. Barty produced a straight sets 6-3 6-3 win and will face American Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, who upset world number four Aryna Sabalenka in their last 32 match.
Ashleigh Barty of Australia serves in their ladies singles third round match against Veronika Kudermetova of Russia during Day Six of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2021 at Foro Italico
Kudermetova struggled to match Barty’s pace in the second set and lasted just 33 minutes against the Australian.
Barty will take on Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals after the American’s superb display against world number four Aryna Sabalenka. It is the first time the duo have faced each other.
Gauff has been in fine form in the tournament, upsetting the odds to knock out Madrid champion Sabalenka 7-5 6-3 in Thursday’s earlier match.
The 17-year-old spoke of her eagerness to face Barty, who is the favourite to win the tournament after several top seeds were knocked out. World number two Naomi Osaka fell at the first hurdle while Simona Halep was forced to withdraw with an injury.
“It will be great to see where my level is," said Gauff of playing Barty.
I mean, she's the number one player in the world. I have no pressure on me.
"I'm just going to go out there and see what I can do and try my best.”
Barty will see a win in Rome as the perfect preparation for the French Open which kicks off at the end of the month as she bids to add to her 2019 title in Paris. The tournament is set for a delayed start on March 30 so as more fans can be permitted to watch the event.
In the other confirmed quarter-finals in Rome, Jessica Pegula takes on Petra Martic.
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