Before a sell-out 5000-strong centre-court crowd, Barty produced her weapons – pounding forehands, precise slice backhands and tenacious ball-chasing.
Her first serve was hit and often miss – a lowly percentage of 53.2 – but her all-court excellence ensured passage into a Friday night semi-final against the tournament’s surprise packet, American world No.27 Danielle Collins, who had produced consecutive boilovers against top-15 opponents.
Collins on Thursday blitzed world No.7 Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-1, after her 6-3 6-1 dismantling of world No.15 Sofia Kenin in the second round.
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the world No.12 who has brazenly set her sights on Barty’s No.1 crown, meets Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in the other semi-final.
Yastremska toppled Croatian Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in her last-eight encounter, while Sabalenka outgunned second seed and world No.4 Simona Halep 6-4 6-2.
Last year, Sabalenka defeated Barty in a semi-final at the Wuhan WTA tournament in China – her third win in five matches against the Australian.
Asked if her win over Halep showed the tennis world she had the potential to be a world No.1, Sabalenka confidently replied: “I knew it before.”
The 21-year-old forecast a full-throttle duel in her semi-final against world No.24 Yastremska, with both renowned for their power play.