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Ash Barty’s Australian Open dream is over after losing to Sofia Kenin in sizzling semi-final

Leo Schlink, January 30, 2020 6:25PM Herald Sun

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Australia's Ashleigh Barty uses an ice towel to cool off between games in her singles semi-final. Picture: AFP media_cameraAustralia's Ashleigh Barty uses an ice towel to cool off between games in her singles semi-final. Picture: AFP

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Ash Barty is out of the Australian Open.

The Queenslander and world No. 1 blew four set points before losing 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to young American Sofia Kenin in sweltering* conditions at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Bidding to become the first homegrown* Australian Open champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978, Barty admitted she had no answers on how to beat world No. 15 Kenin.

Sofia Kenin ends the Barty Party

“I didn’t feel super comfortable. I felt like my first plan wasn’t working. I couldn’t execute* the way that I wanted. I tried to go to (plan) B and C,” Barty said. “I try and go out and play the way I want to play. If it doesn’t work, I know I have different tools I can go to.

“I tried to go to those tools today. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite scrap enough to get over the line.”

Barty showed her usual positive attitude at the post-match interview, bringing her 11-week-old niece Olivia along and reflecting that life is about more than just a game of tennis.

2020 Australian Open - Day 11 media_cameraAshleigh Barty holds her niece Olivia during her press conference. Picture: Getty Images

Kenin said she was thankful for her victory.

“She is such a tough player, I know she is playing really amazing and I know I needed to find a way to win,” Kenin said of Barty.

“She came up with some really great shots, it was really tough. I knew she was not going to give it up to me, I really needed to fight out there.”

Kenin will play in the women’s final on Saturday night against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza who had a straight-sets win over former world No. 1 Simona Halep yesterday (Thursday).

media_cameraSerbia’s Novak Djokovic (left) pats Switzerland’s Roger Federer after his victory during their men’s singles semi-final match. Picture: AFP

TENNIS: Defending champion Novak Djokovic has won through to his eighth Australian Open men’s singles final after defeating Roger Federer in straight sets last night.

The world No. 2 started slowly against a weary and injured 38-year-old Federer but recovered to win 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena in the pair’s 50th career meeting.

Djokovic will play the winner of tonight’s semi-final between Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

media_cameraMatthew Wade of the Hurricanes reacts after losing his wicket in the eliminator final. Picture: AAP

CRICKET: The Hobart Hurricanes’ home Big Bash finals curse struck again last night after they were knocked out of the tournament by the Sydney Thunder.

Having entered Thursday night’s eliminator riding a three-game winning streak, Hobart crashed to a third loss from as many home finals.

The Thunder scored 5-197 before Hobart’s chase fell 57 runs short when batting big guns Matthew Wade (14) and D’Arcy Short (37) were out inside the first seven overs.

GLOSSARY

  • sweltering: extremely hot
  • homegrown: born or grown in your home country
  • execute: put a plan into effect
  • eliminator: a match that rids a team from the tournament

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. How many sets points did Ash Barty miss?
  2. Who did she bring to her post-match interview?
  3. Which two females will play in the Open final?
  4. How many Australian Open finals has Novak Djokovic reached?
  5. Sydney Thunder won by how many runs in the Big Bash eliminator.

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Write a Letter
Write a letter to Ash Barty. The purpose of your letter is to encourage her after today’s loss. Give her some advice that will help her to keep working hard to achieve her dreams and goals. Then, write a letter to yourself. This letter is about the same thing – encourage and tell yourself the things that you can do to be positive and to achieve your dreams and goals.

Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts.

2. Extension
What does this story tell you about good sportsmanship and resilience?

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity.
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability.

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?


HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think Ash Barty is an inspirational Australian on and off the court? Why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.

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