28 January 2020

Ashleigh Barty is blanking out public expectation as she heads into first Australian Open semi-final

Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty has said she isn't paying attention to public expectation as she heads into her first Australian Open semi-final.

Barty convincingly beat Petra Kvitova in the quarter-final in straight sets, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

She will play American Sofia Kenin, who knocked out Coco Gauff, in the semi-final later this week.

Hype has been building around Barty as no Australian player has won a singles title at home since Chris O'Neill in 1978. 

The pressure has increased as Nick Kyrgios, the Aussies' best male hope for a title, was knocked out in the fourth round by Rafael Nadal. 

However, the world No 1 says she's ignoring the buzz.

"I don't pay attention to it [public expectation], honestly. I'm here to try and do the best that I can. Obviously it's exciting. Hopefully I can bring a smile to a few faces around our country and around the world. 

"For me, it's trying to do the best that I can, find that enjoyment for myself and my team. I'm excited. My team's excited. We love the opportunity of getting another match out on that beautiful court."

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