MONTREAL, Canada - No.15 seed Ashleigh Barty became the first player to punch her ticket into the semifianls of the Coupe Rogers on Friday afternoon, as she ended the run of Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 6-1.
Bertens knocked off a pair of Top 10 seeds on her way to the last eight in No.9 seed Karolina Pliskova and No.8 seed Petra Kvitova, but was unable to score a third straight victory against a seeded player.
In a match that was closely contested early in swirling wind, Barty ran off nine of the last 10 games of the encounter overall from 3-3 in the opening set.
"It was really tricky conditions...and we were both struggling a little," Barty said in her on-court interview.
"I'm very happy to come through and get a little bit better during the match."
The World No.16 scored a second career victory against the Dutch No.1, but their Canadian encounter was a much different story than their last meeting from four years ago, where Barty needed to rally from a set down on the hard courts in Brisbane.
Neither woman faced a break points over the first seven games of the set, and Barty's hold in the seventh game marked the first game which went to deuce in the encounter.
In the end, the lone break point for either player in the set went Barty's way in the eighth game, as a series of biting backhand slices finally drew the error from the Dutchwoman to close a lengthy 14-shot rally.
The Aussie No.1 took advantage of 31 unforced errors from Bertens' racquet over the course of just 55 minutes, broke serve four times and never faced a break point herself.
The win puts Barty into the semifinals in her debut in Montreal, having reached the last 16 when the event was held in Toronto a year ago.
Having now won eight of her last nine matches on hard courts after leading the WTA in grass court wins, she will look to make her third final of the season against the winner of the quarterfinal match between World No.1 Simona Halep and No.6 seed Caroline Garcia.
"The grass season is very short. I certainly love it, but it is very short. It's always exciting coming over here to the American summer. It's obviously winter at home, so it's a little bit chilly. It's nice to come over here. I love the courts. I love the conditions. I feel like this is potentially always a good time of year for me," Barty said.
"I think tonight's match will be a great match. Obviously I've played against Garcia a few times. I mean, in juniors, as well. Probably most recently in Wuhan, I think. That was a great match.
"I think tonight that match will be a pretty good level. Both players are very strong physically, and will want to turn it into a physical battle. I think it will be nice to be able to sit down and watch that one."