Barty keeps dream alive as she eases into Wimbledon semis

London (AFP) –


Ashleigh Barty kept alive her dream of winning the women's Wimbledon title on the 50th anniversary of fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley's first win by easing into the semi-finals on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old outclassed unseeded compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 to set up what promises to be a far more serious test of her ability on Thursday when she faces 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.

Barty is the first Australian woman to reach the last four at Wimbledon since Jelena Dokic in 2000.

"It's the ultimate test," said Barty. "Angie's had success here before. I love that match-up. She knows her way around this court and I know I need to play well to give myself a chance in that match.

"This is a dream come true."

Barty seized control of the match from the off breaking Tomljanovic twice early on and then broke the 28-year-old for a third time to win the first set 6-1.

Tomljanovic's boyfriend Matteo Berrettini tried to rally her spirits with applause from the guest box -- though the men's quarter-finalist looked far from confident licking his lips nervously -- as she prepared to receive serve from Barty at the beginning of the second set.

For a brief moment it appeared that might have done some good as she broke Barty in the first game.

However, she lost her serve immediately and her next one as well to give Barty the break she required.

- 'Ill-timed lapses' -

Tomljanovic -- whose Last 16 match had been much later than Barty's on Monday -- did break back to trail 4-3.

However, typical of the clash no sooner had she suggested a fightback then Barty upped a gear and she reeled off the next three games to progress.

Barty has moved around court with little sign of any after effects from the hip injury that forced her to retire from the French Open.

She feels also that her game is less encumbered by unforced errors and weak serving that were a feature of her early round matches.

"I think today I was able to use my weapons a little bit better," she said.

"I certainly wasn't as loose as I have been with errors and kind of ill-timed lapses, I suppose.

"But I felt really sharp today."

Barty in typical sportsmanlike style praised her opponent.

"All Aussies back home are proud of her and it was bloody nice to share the court with her today."

Tomljanovic for her part conceded the occasion and the status of her opponent had got to her.

"The fact that it was Centre Court, quarters for the first time, did play a role in playing against Ash, someone that looked very much at home," she said.

"It was not easy."

Tomljanovic said she would not be able to rely on Berrettini for a consoling shoulder on the return to the hotel due to the Euro 2020 semi-final between Italy and Spain.

"I think Matteo is going to be all about Italy," she said.

"He's all about that, which I think is happening soon. So I'm going to miss it."