American qualifier Jennifer Brady stunned top-ranked and top-seeded home favorite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets Thursday at the Brisbane International in Australia.
Brady never faced a break point as she defeated the French Open champion 6-4, 7-6 (4) on her home court at Pat Rafter Arena. Barty, who was making her 2020 debut after a first-round bye, committed 26 unforced errors.
Third-seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan fired a career-high 18 aces and reached the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1 comeback win against Sofia Kenin.
Osaka struck 42 winners in the two-hour, 21-minute battle, extending her winning streak to 13 straight matches dating back to last season. The former world No. 1 next faces No. 6 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 winner against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
In other action, No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic outlasted Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1, and two-time Wimbledon champ and No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova, also of the Czech Republic, defeated Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova 6-3, 6-2.
Top-seeded Serena Williams defeated fellow American Christina McHale 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals in Auckland, New Zealand.
Williams lost her first set of 2020 — singles or doubles — but took control with two early breaks in the deciding set. Her next opponent is Germany’s Laura Siegemund, who rallied to take out 15-year-old American Coco Gauff 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 5 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is also through to the final eight after beating Lauren Davis 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Wozniacki, who plans to retire after the Australian Open, needed two hours and 20 minutes to eliminate the 2017 tournament champion. She will face No. 4 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, who dispatched Jil Belen Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2.
No. 5 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia ousted home favorite Qiang Wang 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals in Shenzhen, China.
They exchanged 13 service breaks in the hard-fought clash, with Alexandrova needing four set points to win the second set and level the match. In the decider, Alexandrova closed out with her seventh break by crushing a return winner down the line.
Alexandrova will face sixth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 winner over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan. The other semifinal pits No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Rybakina knocked out third-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens in three sets.
—Field Level Media