The Latest: Barty beats Pegula to reach semis in Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest at the Australian Open on Tuesday (all times local):
12:50 a.m. (Wednesday)
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian man to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open.
The Wimbledon runner-up beat No. 17 Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2.
Berrettini will next face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals on Friday.
Top-ranked Ash Barty moved into the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 21 Jessica Pegula.
The 2021 Wimbledon champion is aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open since 1978.
She will next face 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys for a place in the final. It’s Barty’s second trip to the semifinals at Melbourne Park — she lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in 2020.
She says “I’ve grown as a person. I’ve grown as a player. I feel like I’m a more complete player.”
Keys is back in the last four for the second time after losing to Serena Williams in the semifinals in 2015.
Barty saved the only break point she faced against Pegula and converted five of the nine chances she had to break serve.
Keys beat French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2 in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 9.
Rafael Nadal has stayed on track for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam singles title with a topsy-turvy 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win over Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.
Nadal had several medical timeouts in the 4-hour match, appearing related to stomach issues.
Nadal is tied for most major singles titles by a male player with Roger Federer, who is not playing here due to continuing recovery from right knee surgery, and Novak Djokovic, who was deported before the tournament began over visa issues concerning his decision not to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Nadal will play the winner of Tuesday’s later quarterfinal between Gael Monfils and Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini. The men’s semifinals are set for Friday, so both winners on Tuesday will have an extra day to recover and prepare for their final-four showdown.
The men’s final is Sunday night.
Madison Keys is the first player into the semifinals at Melbourne Park after beating French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2.
Krejcikova took a medical timeout while trailing 5-2 in the first set from what might have been heat stress as temperatures topped 30 Celsius (86 F). She appeared to be lethargic at times during a second set that lasted 35 minutes.
Keys will play either top-ranked Ash Barty or Jessica Pegula in the semifinals. Barty and Pegula were playing a night match on Rod Laver Arena.
The win continues a resurgent 2022 for Keys, who won only 11 matches in all of 2021. She has tied that mark now — five wins so far in the Australian Open, five while winning the Adelaide International 10 days ago, and a first-round win at a tournament in Melbourne the week before.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova opens quarterfinal action at Melbourne Park when she plays Madison Keys in the first match at Rod Laver Arena.
The WTA Tour says Krejcikova can overtake Ash Barty for the world No. 1 ranking if she wins the tournament and Barty, who plays her quarterfinal against Jessica Pegula to open night play, doesn’t advance to the semis.
Keys is having a resurgent 2022 after winning the Adelaide tournament 10 days ago. Keys won a total of 11 matches last year and a win over Krejcikova would give the American 10 — in January.
“I was just at a very high anxiety level all of the time,” Keys said of 2021. “I wasn’t sleeping as well. It just felt like there was literally a weight on my chest just because I became so focused and obsessed with it that I wasn’t enjoying really anything because it’s all that I was thinking about.”
Rafael Nadal’s quest for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title continues when he takes on Denis Shapovalov in the late afternoon match on Rod Laver, while the other men’s quarterfinal between Gael Monfils and Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini closes the night program.
Temperatures were expected to reach 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) under partly cloudy skies.
More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports