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Barty into semi-finals on Montreal debut

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP | Semi-final, here I come: Ashleigh Barty hits a return against Kiki Bertens in her Montreal quarter-final win on Friday

MONTREAL (AFP) - 

Australian 15th seed Ashleigh Barty reached the semi-finals of the Montreal WTA tournament on Friday, reeling off nine of the last 10 games to defeat giantkiller Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1.

Barty was the more composed player in difficult, windy conditions as Bertens, who had seen off ninth seed Karolina Pliskova and eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in her previous two matches, was undone by 31 unforced errors in the 55-minute quarter-final.

Barty has reached the semi-finals on her Montreal debut having made the last 16 when the event was held in Toronto last year.

"It was really tricky conditions and we were both struggling a little," Barty said in her on-court interview.

"I'm very happy to come through and get a little bit better during the match."

The world number 16 will face either top seed and Roland Garros champion Simona Halep or French sixth seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the final.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens was just as ruthless as Barty in her quarter-final as the third-seeded American made the semi-finals for the second straight year, seeing off Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-2, 6-2.

"I've been playing well and it's a good start here to the US Open Series. I'm happy to be back in North America and playing on hard courts, and I'm hoping for some more good results," said Stephens.

Stephens will face either Elina Svitolina or Elise Mertens for a spot in the final.

© 2018 AFP