Australian Open 2020: Ash Barty upset by Sofia Kenin in semi-final shock

American Sofia Kenin has shattered Ash Barty's Australian Open dream, with a shock straight-sets semi-final win over the big home hope.

Kenin defied searing heat and her world No.15 ranking to upset the top seed 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

The 21-year-old will play Garbine Muguruza in Saturday's final, after the unseeded Spaniard beat former world No.1 Simona Halep 7-6 (10-8) 7-5.

While Kenin gets the chance to claim her maiden Grand Slam crown, Barty will rue being unable to convert either of two set points from 6-4 up in the first-set tiebreaker or another two serving at 5-4 in the second set.

Sofia Kenin celebrates her semi-final win
Sofia Kenin celebrates her semi-final win Photo credit: Getty

A hot favourite to become the first Australian woman since Wendy Turnbull 40 years ago to make an Open final, the world No.1's defeat left the packed crowd shellshocked.

Even Kenin, who lost to Barty in the French Open fourth round last year, was pinching herself afterwards.

"Honestly, I'm so speechless," said the Moscow-born 14th seed. "I honestly can't believe this.

"I've dreamed about this moment since I was five years old. I'm so speechless, thankful.

"I have worked so hard to be here. Thanks to my dad and everyone back home."

Barty dominated much of the opening set, conceding only four points in her first five service games.

But she paid the price for not cashing in on three break-point chances in the sixth game, as Kenin snatched the set in the tiebreaker.

A winner of a tour-best 13 matches from a set down last year, Barty seemed to mount a signature comeback, when she charged to a 3-1 lead in the second set.

But in temperatures nudging towards 40 degrees in Melbourne, the top seed crumbled trying to level the match up, as Kenin reeled off four straight games from 3-5 down to seal victory in 1h 45m.

"I knew I needed to find a way to win," Kenin told the crowd. "Thank you so much.

"This wasn't an easy one. I'm so grateful and thank you for this moment."