Ash Barty is in to the Sydney International semi-final. Picture: AAP
Ash Barty is in to the Sydney International semi-final. Picture: AAP

Barty party rolls into semi-finals

Ash Barty has stormed into the Sydney International semi-finals after dispatching Belgium's Elise Mertens in straight sets 6-3 6-3.

The Belgian is Barty's second top 15 victim in as many days after the top-ranked Aussie broke her World No.1 hoodoo against Simona Halep on Wednesday.

After going down a break early in the first, Barty responded brilliantly to break Mertens' serve twice and storm away with the set.

 

Mertens became increasingly frustrated in the second set as Barty's slice backhand again proved to be a match-winning asset.

Barty will face either Yulia Putintseva or Kiki Bertens for a spot in the final.

On Wednesday the Queenslander issued a warning to her Australian Open rivals after downing Halep.

"I completely and 100 per cent respect Simona, she's done amazing things in this sport, but I certainly fear no one," Barty said.

"And I feel like I can go out there and match it with the world's best.

"Obviously very satisfying, I learned my lesson finally."