Barty into Eastbourne semis on return

The re-emergence of Australian tennis sensation Ashleigh Barty is gaining traction, with the young star snaring another big scalp en route to the Eastbourne semi-finals.

Barty made light work of Austrian world No.122 Tamira Paszek in her quarter-final at the second-tier ITF event at Eastbourne on Wednesday, cruising to a 6-3 6-2 victory in 73 minutes.

It follows similarly comprehensive wins over No.140 Urszula Radwanska and former world No.5 Daniela Hantuchova this week.

She will next face top seed, and world No.94, Alison Riske of the USA on Thursday for a shot at the final of the $50,000 event.

The 20-year-old stepped away from tennis for 17 months before returning in February this year.

While on hiatus, Barty switched sports and played cricket for the Brisbane Heat in the women’s Big Bash League over summer.

But the return to tennis of the girl long considered the heir apparent to long-term women’s No.1 Samantha Stosur has Australian officials excited.

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