• Ashleigh Barty in action during French Tennis Open Day 12 at Roland-Garros arena on June 06, 2019 in Paris, France. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM (ABACA)Source: ABACA
WTA officials have blasted the decision by tournament officials to hold the women's French Open semi-finals on outside courts.
By
NITV Staff Writer

7 Jun 2019 - 9:19 AM  UPDATED 7 Jun 2019 - 9:19 AM

Ashleigh Barty is one win away from a place in the French Open final after dispatching Madison Keys 6-3 7-5  overnight, but will have to play her first grand slam semi final match on an outside court after tournament officials gave the men centre stage.

Barty will face American Amanda Anisimova after the teenager stunned world No.1 Simona Halep 6-2 6-4 in the other women's quarter final last night. Both quarter-finals had been scheduled for Wednesday but were washed out, meaning the semi-finals were also delayed and now must be played on the same day as the men's contests.

Ticketing constraints and another poor forecast for Friday has resulted in organisers putting both men's matches on Court Philippe Chatrier while one women's match will be played on Suzanne Lenglen and one on Simonne Mathieu.

"Obviously we would love to play on Chatrier. For me, personally, I'm excited to be in a semi-final. It doesn't really matter which court I play on," said Barty, the world No.8.

The WTA said they were "extremely disappointed" by the scheduling, which CEO and chairman Steve Simon called "unfair and inappropriate" in a statement.

"There's no doubt that scheduling has been challenged by weather conditions and the WTA understands the scheduling issues presented at Roland Garros, " said Simon.

"We are, however, extremely disappointed by the scheduling of both women's semi-finals on outside courts. This decision is unfair and inappropriate.

"The four women who have played so well and made it this far have earned their right to play on the biggest stage. We believe other solutions were possible which would have been to the benefit of fans as well as all players."

Earlier, Barty avenged her defeat to Keys at Roland Garros in the opening round two years ago, to reach the semi finals of a grand slam for the first time.

Barty took out the first set in under half-an-hour after converting her fourth set point and clinched the match on her first match point.

The 23-year-old looked in control throughout and even managed to overcome a hiccup in the second set when Keys broke her as she was serving for the match.

However, she responded magnificently against last year's semifinalist and broke straight back before closing out the match to love.

Despite being on the receiving end of eight aces, Barty's return game was solid throughout as she won 40 per cent of her receiving points and converted 80 per cent on her own serve.

Following the rain that washed out the whole of Wednesday's schedule, Barty must now play three matches in as many days to become the first Australian to reach the final in Paris since Samantha Stosur nine years ago.

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- with AAP