La Jornada newspaper
Wednesday, February 17, 2021, p. a31
Melbourne. The world tennis number one, Australian Ash Barty, was eliminated by Czech Karolina Muchova, 27 in the world, in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Muchova won 1-6, 6-3 and 6-2 and reached the semifinal of a Grand Slam for the first time. Her comeback triumph ended Barty’s attempt to become the first Australian to win in Melbourne since Chris O’Neal in 1978.
For the second time, Muchova was contesting the quarterfinals of a large tournament. He started playing badly and Barty had a 5-0 lead in a stretch in which he lost just six points. After nine sets, Muchova had a single winning shot and 18 unforced errors.
At the beginning of the second set, Muchova asked for a 10-minute break due to injury. Medical personnel took his pulse and temperature before he left the court. When she returned, the Czech played much better.
Muchova will face the American Jennifer Brady on Thursday for a ticket to the final, who with her experience won, also in three sets (4-6, 6-2 and 6-1), her compatriot Jessica Pegula, who already she had reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time after being eliminated in the first round twice.
Comebacks have been key for Muchova in this tournament. In his first meetings he turned around to win after being down 5-0 and 4-0. In front of Barty, she began to move forward to land shots from the ground, but became indecisive and erratic. Muchova’s only win against another player ranked in the top five in the world came against Karolina Pliskova (third) at Wimbledon 2019.
In the other semifinal they will face the number three in the world, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, and the American Serena Williams (11), who seeks the record of 24 Grand Slam titles.