Barty powers into Australian Open semis

Shayne Hope |

Ash Barty has continued her red-hot start to the summer by marching into the Australian Open semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

The world No.1 is still yet to drop a set at the year’s first grand slam after seeing off 21st seed Jessica Pegula 6-2 6-0 in just over an hour on Monday night.

“That was solid tonight. I had a lot of fun out here, I was able to serve and find a lot of forehands in the centre of the court and I was happy to take the game on,” Barty said in her on-court interview.

Hoping to break the host country’s 44-year Open singles title drought, Barty will play another American, former US Open runner-up Madison Keys, on Thursday for a place in the final.

Barty previously reached the last four two in Melbourne years ago, losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin, and is hopeful of going further this time.

“I’ve grown as a person, I’ve grown as a player,” Barty said.

“I feel like I’m a more complete tennis player.

“I’m absolutely loving playing out here. It’s been a lot of fun so far and hopefully there’s a little bit more left.”