Australian Open Semifinal Predictions: Madison Keys vs Ashleigh Barty

Ash Barty in action at the WTA Adelaide International.
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We are in for a blockbuster semifinal match at the Australian Open. Ashleigh Barty looks absolutely unbeatable so far. Can Madison Keys be the one to stop her? Our writers share their thoughts. Predicting this match are Jack Edward, Jakub Bobro, Damian Kust, Harsh Bhoot, and Yesh Ginsburg.

Australian Open Semifinal Predictions

Ashleigh Barty vs Madison Keys

Jack:
Barty is in the form of her life. 17 games en route to the final, slicing her opponents to pieces, using her heavy forehand to mop up points immaculately; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her play so effortlessly. With the roof likely to be closed as it was against Pegula, Barty’s game will be even better, her slices sitting very low in the court. Though Keys has plenty of rhythm at the moment, if anybody was going to disrupt that rhythm it would be Barty who is likely to be in her element on Thursday.
Prediction: Barty in 2

Jakub:
Barty continues to look absolutely invincible, most recently letting Jessica Pegula win only two games in their quarterfinal clash. The Australian has been in the latter of the stages of the tournament for four years now but is yet to reach a final. Keys has also been on another level, especially in her last two wins over Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova. Barty leads the head-to-head 2-1 over the American but this will be their first meeting on outdoor hard. This should be a hell of a match as both have looked unstoppable so far in Australia. Despite the fact that Keys possesses enough power to just take the match out of her opponents’ hands on her day, I’m picking Barty here. If she keeps her current form and with the variety she has in her arsenal, Barty can try different things to throw Keys off on the return games while keeping her own service games short.
Prediction: Barty in 3

Damian:
At this point, we can’t exclude the possibility that Ashleigh Barty could win this tournament without losing a set. The Australian is still undefeated in 2022 and is looking way stronger than any other player on the planet. The slice is a unique weapon on the women’s side that allows her to take over the points by mixing up the pace and spin, ultimately setting it all up for a powerful forehand. If it’s not going great, the serve (exceptional for her height) is always there to bail her out. However, Madison Keys is among the few players that could possibly take her on right now. The American, on her day, can just blast the opponents off the court with her powerful shotmaking. Consistency is an issue though and keeping up that level for two sets against a rival who won’t just bow down to her won’t be easy. She might snatch a set, especially if being close to the glory at her home Slam makes Barty more nervous (it did in 2020 and 2021), but I think the Australian is simply in a different league right now.
Prediction: Barty in 3

Harsh:
Barty has played like the top women’s player this tournament. Hasn’t really been tested and her gameplan has been spot on with the Aussie dropping just one service game. Keys on the other hand has taken out two of the top eight seeds and it’s so good to see her back in the semi finals of a Grand Slam. Expect Keys to be super aggressive but the guile and variety of Barty looks too sublime to bet against.
Prediction: Barty in 3

Yesh:
Everyone is picking Barty, and for good reason. The Aussie’s form right now is unreal. Her game is completely on point, and no one can get any comfort against her. That’s about to change, though. Keys has finally found her form that she showed a few years ago, and the American has the raw power to knock Barty on the back foot. The Australian has faced no pressure at all this tournament. That won’t prepare her well for what Keys has to bring.
Prediction: Keys in 3

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