Impressive Barty storms into Nottingham final
ASHLEIGH Barty's affinity with English grasscourts has propelled the Aussie star into the Nattingham Open final in - and deeper into Wimbledon calculations.
Instinctive and sharp, the former Wimbledon junior champion mowed down Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-4 to reach the title match.
She will face either Sydney-born Johanna Konta or defending champion Donna Vekic.
Outplayed by Osaka at January's Australian Open, Barty was in no mood for a repeat, dominating on serve and breaking Osaka's delivery three times in a complete display.
"I think it's been a very clean week for me. I've served well and gotten myself into return games very well," Barty said.
"I think when I first got on the grass, I instantly felt comfortable. I'm obviously feeling very good this week and I hope to go one more tomorrow. Being in a final again is always a positive no matter where you are.
"I knew today I was going to have to step up another level, and I was able to do so. I'm pretty pleased with that."
Top seed Barty will search for her first singles trophy of the season on Sunday night (AEST) - weather permitting.
Konta and Vekic were halted by rain, giving Barty a recovery edge.
"Those two had two cracking matches on the grass last year. You could barely split them in both of those matches," Barty said.
"I lost to Jo here last year, so I think I can go in and play some pretty free tennis."