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Ashleigh Barty two wins from glory after storming into the Australian Open semi-finals

Leo Schlink and Peter Rolfe, January 28, 2020 7:30AM Herald Sun

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Ashleigh Barty in action against Petra Kvitova on Rod Laver Arena. Picture: Mark Stewart media_cameraAshleigh Barty in action against Petra Kvitova on Rod Laver Arena. Picture: Mark Stewart

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Ashleigh Barty has become the first Australian woman to reach a semi-final at the Australian Open in 36 years after defeating friend and foe* Petra Kvitova on Rod Laver Arena yesterday (Tuesday).

She is now just two wins away from the holy grail* of Australian tennis, with a victory over 14th seed American Sofia Kenin tomorrow offering her a path to the women’s final.

Greats of the game have rallied behind Barty.

media_cameraAustralia’s Ashleigh Barty hits a return against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova. Picture: AFP

Wendy Turnbull, the last Australian woman to make a semi-final, will make a rare trip to Melbourne Park tomorrow to support Barty.

Turnbull, now 67 and a former world No. 3, said she would love to see Barty win and continue her stunning reign* as world No. 1.

“There are no words to describe what Ash has done,” Turnbull said.

“She won the French Open, she got to world No. 1 and now she’s in the Australian Open semis.

“I really hope she can go on and win against Sofia Kenin in the semis and then win the whole thing.”

filepic  1983  Wendy Turnbull in action at Milton tennis courts. headshot sport qld 35/A/4334 FRAME 34 media_cameraWendy Turnbull.
03/01/1979. Chris (Christine) O'Neil plays a shot back to Nagelsen during the final of the 1978 Australian Open at Kooyong, Melbourne. Tennis. Picture: Peter Bull. media_cameraChris O’Neil.

The last Aussie woman to win the Grand Slam on home soil — 42 years ago — has urged Barty to take the title.

Chris O’Neil, who won the Open in 1978, said she would be cheering hard for a player who “embodies* all the qualities of a truly great champion”.

“She’s a wonderful ambassador for tennis, for Australia, for women and for her indigenous* heritage*,” O’Neil said.

Barty advances to semi-final

Barty defeated Kvitova in straight sets yesterday — 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 — and will stick to her usual practice routine today.

She said she was taking it all the attention her stride as she was “growing as a tennis player” and “as a person every single day”.

“I’m here to try and to do the best that I can,” Barty said.

“Obviously it’s exciting. Hopefully I can try and bring a smile to a few faces around our country and around the world.”

GLOSSARY

  • foe: enemy
  • holy grail: a prize that is hard to achieve
  • reign: a period of ruling or being No. 1
  • embodies: a visible form of something
  • indigenous: native to a country or area
  • heritage: background or culture

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. Who does Barty play in the semi-final?
  2. How long since an Aussie woman has been in the semi-finals at the Open?
  3. Which former Australian Open winner is backing Barty to win?
  4. What is Barty’s world ranking?
  5. Which Australian state is Barty from?

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITY
1. Banner of support
Create a banner to support Ash Barty in the semi-final at the Australian Open. Think of a clever line or inspirational slogan to cheer her on (for example, Let the Barty Party roll on …).

Time: allow 30 minutes for this activity.
Curriculum Links: English, Creative and Critical Thinking, Creative Arts

VCOP ACTIVITY
With a partner see if you can identify all the doing words/verbs in this text. Highlight them in yellow and then make a list of them all down your page. Now see if you and your partner can come up with a synonym for the chosen verb. Make sure it still makes sense in the context it was taken from.

Try to replace some of the original verbs with your synonyms and discuss if any are better and why.

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP

HAVE YOUR SAY: How much pressure do you think Ash Barty is under to win her home tennis tournament?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.

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