Red-hot Barty finally breaks top 10 hoodoo
ASHLEIGH Barty has claimed one of the biggest scalps of her tennis career, beating Wimbledon champion and world No.3 Angelique Kerber to progress to the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open.
The Aussie was in red hot form at the China event, beating the German 7-5 6-1.
A finalist at the tournament in 2017, where she beat three top 10 players before losing to Caroline Garcia in the decider, Barty hadn't beaten someone in the top echelons since.
But the 22 year-old put that seven-match losing run against the world's elite to bed with a polished 77-minute performance.
The world No.17 raced out to a 5-2 lead but couldn't serve out the set, opening the door for Kerber to lock up the scores at 5-5.
Kerber then held break points on Barty's serve but couldn't capitalise and the 16th seed made her pay with an immediate break to take the first set.
It was one-way traffic in the second as Barty quickly moved to a 5-0 lead before closing out the match on serve.
"She's always very difficult to play against," Barty said.
"She's one of the best players in the world and you have to come out here, enjoy and have fun, and try and play as well as you can.
"(I played) very well here last year, and it was an amazing week with some amazing memories."