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By Erik Gudris | Saturday, September 4, 2021

 
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Shelby Rogers rallied from 2-5 down stunning Ash Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) in a US Open thriller for her first win over a world No. 1.

Photo credit: Pete Staples/USTA/US Open

Shelby Rogers found inspiration from a vocal Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd and from an all time great quote to complete her biggest career win.

The Charleston, South Carolina native Rogers upset top seed and World No. 1 Ash Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) to reach the US Open fourth round.

More: Fernandez Shocks Osaka

The current World No. 43 Rogers rallied after trailing 2-5 in the final set before winning a razor close decisive tiebreak against the recent Wimbledon champion for her first win over Barty in six tries.



“It’s funny this morning I was watching a video of [1979 US Open finalist] Vitas Gerulaitis when he said nobody beats me 17 times in a row! I was only at six though!” Rogers told ESPN’s Pam Shriver afterwards.

“I was just trying to stay in the point longer than Ash. She was handling my pace well tonight, the harder I hit the ball the better she hit. So I tried to throw in some high ones, not the way I like to play but it’s what I needed to do so I’m happy with myself for problem solving.”

Barty, Rogers
The 28-year-old Rogers, who reached the US Open quarterfinals last year, stormed through the opening set with a lot of help from Barty. The Australian star could not get her game going as she threw in six double faults and 17 unforced errors in the set.

Barty quickly reset her game and cut down on her errors. She soon raced through the second set 6-1.

Rogers, in her attempt to finally beat Barty, changed her tactics from previous matches. That included serving with more consistency, and trying to keep the ball high to Barty’s backhand. It worked for awhile, but Barty soon adapted and began running around her backhand to counter with her favored forehand.

In the final set, Barty looked in command. Barty broke Rogers’ serve to begin the final set. Rogers tried to stay close with Barty, but with little luck. Barty later in the set at 4-2 struck two deep forehands that landed just on the baseline that soon allowed her to break again for 5-2.

Yet Barty, as she did in earlier matches, had trouble closing out the match on her terms. She played a poor game to drop serve for 3-5. After Rogers held for 4-5, the last American woman standing in the singles draw urged the crowd to get behind her. They did in full voice as Barty tried to serve the match out again.

Rogers answered with more pressure on Barty. A fine defensive lob from Rogers earned her a break point. Barty saved it but soon faced another. Barty couldn’t save this one after she committed a forehand error to hand Rogers the break back for 5-all.



Both women served themselves into a final set tiebreak that proved too close to call from start to finish. Rogers, with fine defense, won a cagey 19 shot rally for 2-all.

Neither player looked ready to give in as the crowd cheers for Rogers grew louder. Rogers finally got the first mini break after Barty sent a forehand long.

On match point, Rogers fired down one more potent serve to close out the dramatic three set win to the delight of the New York crowd.

Rogers, who missed over 13 months of play from 2018 to 2019 due to knee surgery, admitted later to ESPN’S Mary Joe Fernandez that she was not sure she ever would play tennis again.

“This is extra special for me and to do it in New York is incredible,” a teary Rogers added.

With Barty’s loss, now the the top two women’s seeds are out of the event as No.3 seed Naomi Osaka fell to 18-year-old Canadian left-hander Leylah Fernandez on Ashe Stadium last night.

Next up for Rogers is Emma Raducanu of Great Britain. The 18-year-old Raducanu slammed Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 to reach her second straight Grand Slam fourth round just weeks after Sorrbes Tormo toppled Barty at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

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