World no. 27 from the Czech Republic has staged another comeback, this time defeating world no. 1 Ash Barty 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Barty looked to be cruising to back-to-back Australian Open semifinals after taking the first set and getting a break of serve in the opening game of the second set.
After Muchova held to take the score to 2-1 she received treatment and took a medical timeout.
After the match she said she was feeling dizzy.
“I started feeling a bit lost by the end of the first set. Ash started very good, she played almost like no mistakes, it was very tough. And I was a bit lost on the court, and my head was spinning (with dizziness) so I took a break,” explained Muchova.
Ashleigh Barty vs Karolina Muchova Match Highlights (QF) | Australian Open 2021
Barty raced out to a 5-0 lead before Muchova held serve. The first set was in the bag after another Barty hold of serve.
After the medical timeout, Barty was serving. Muchova was now starting to mix up her pattern of play and it seemed to unsettle Barty.
Before the timeout, Barty had committed seven errors. By the end of the second set that had gone out to 25.
Muchova who had come back from 0-5 in the second set of her round three match against Karolina Pliskova and 0-4 in the first set against Elise Bertens was making another strong comeback.
In the eighth game of the second set, Barty served two double faults to help Muchova break to extend the lead to 5-3.
The Czech then served out to love to level the match at one set all.
Barty was broken at the start of the third set and then fought hard to break back. She quickly had two break-back points at 15-40 but errors were hurting her chances.
Muchova got a double break in the seventh game to then attempt to serve for the match.
A Muchova backhand forced error gave Barty her first chance to break back at 30-40. A Muchova winner saved that. Barty again held breakpoint at Ad, only to have an unforced error to lose that opportunity.
Muchova double-faulted to again give Barty a shot at getting one break back.
That would be Barty’s last chance and Muchova closed out the match to advance to her first Grand Slam semifinal.
“Without a doubt it’s disappointing. We learn, we move on, we don’t let it ruin what has been a really successful, enjoyable start to a new season,” said Barty
“I felt like I lost my way with overplaying, over-pressing, not letting myself work into the points and really construct points as well as I’d like to,” she conceded.
“It’s heartbreaking, of course. But will it deter me, will it ruin the fact we’ve had a really successful start to our season? Absolutely not,” Barty commented.
“The sun will come up tomorrow. We go about our work again. You’re either winning or your learning. I think today is a massive learning curve for me, for Tyz (coach Craig Tyzzer), my team as well.
“We take the positives out of it, without doubt and don’t let this particular match, this particular hour of tennis deter us from what we’re trying to do.”
The Czech player will face USA’s Jennifer Brady (22) after she defeated Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Brady reached the semifinals at the 2020 US Open. For Brady to reach the semis is more impressive considering she was part of the hard lockdown group.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/7tEwG3x1zPA?feature=oembedAshleigh Barty: “I don’t write the rules” (QF) press conference | Australian Open 2021
https://www.youtube.com/embed/5d7Zk0k0E34?feature=oembedKarolina Muchova: “It got to me” press conference (QF) | Australian Open 2021