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Barty in gut-wrenching Indian Wells loss

Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has bowed out in Indian Wells with a marathon three-set loss in the fourth round to world No.6 Elina Svitolina.

Barty in gut-wrenching Indian Wells loss

Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has bowed out in Indian Wells with a marathon three-set loss in the fourth round to world No.6 Elina Svitolina.

ASHLEIGH BARTY of Australia plays a backhand against Camila Giorgi of Italy of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia.
ASHLEIGH BARTY of Australia plays a backhand against Camila Giorgi of Italy of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Australia. Picture:Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty has fallen despairingly short of a place in the world's top 10 with an epic fourth-round loss at the WTA event in Indian Wells.

Australia's top-ranked tennis ace lost 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 6-4 to sixth seed Elina Svitolina in the longest women's match of the year.


The cliffhanger stretched three hours and 12 minutes with Barty blowing a 3-1 lead in the deciding set and only converting six of 17 break-point chances against the Ukrainian.

A breakthrough first win in five meetings with Svitolina would not only have sent Barty into the quarter-finals of the prestigious event but past the great Serena Williams and into the top 10 for the first time.

Instead, the Queenslander will likely have to settle for a new career-high ranking of No.11 when the new list is released next Monday.

Svitolina, meanwhile, advanced to a last-eight date with Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova, who upset world No.2 Simona Halep 6-2 3-6 6-2.

Halep, who received medical treatment for blisters on her foot during the match, had her serve broken eight times in the shock loss.

The win was 19-year-old Vondrousova's first over a top-10 player in six attempts.

The upsets continued when top seed Naomi Osaka followed Halep through the exit door.

World No.1 Osaka never found her rhythm against Belinda Bencic as the Swiss 23rd seed used her precise groundstrokes and pin-point serve to topple the defending champion 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.

Fifth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova outlasted Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (7-0) 4-6 6-2 to set up a showdown with Bencic in the last eight while veteran Venus Williams reached the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Mona Barthel.

"I haven't played that much, so I wanted to make it count," Williams, who expects to play about 12 tournaments this year.

"I need to do what I want, and what I want is to play the tournaments I want to play."

Unseeded Canadian 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu, upset 18th-seeded Wang Qiang of China 7-5 6-2 to advance to a meeting with Spanish 20th seed Garbine Muguruza, who dispatched seventh-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 5-7 6-1 6-4.

AAP


AAP




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