Rogers won 6-2 1-6 7-6 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, leaving Barty shell-shocked after she'd led 5-2 in the final set before surrendering 12 of 16 points to allow her opponent back into the contest.
From 2-5 to 5-5, @shelby_rogers_ has the crowd on Ashe going crazy! pic.twitter.com/63hulYqakq— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2021
After falling behind 6-5 in the decider, Barty did hold serve to force the tiebreak, but she couldn't wrest back the momentum, and after going point for point until 5-5 in the breaker, Rogers grabbed the crucial mini-break to take it 7-5, and contest, too.
Her face says it all. pic.twitter.com/yxyBmbeRUF— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2021
“Just fighting for every point. That’s so cliché,” Rogers said when asked to explain her incredible victory. “I just said, ‘Make balls, try to stay in this match. It can’t get any worse, you’ve lost to her every time, so try something different'," she added.
“I was just trying to stay in the point longer than Ash. She was handling my pace really well tonight, I feel like the harder I hit the ball, the better she hit, so I tried to throw in some high ones.
"That is definitely not the way I like to play, but it’s what I needed to do tonight. So I was happy with myself for problem-solving."
.@Shelby_Rogers_ has no interest in looking ahead to her next match after beating the No. 1 player in the world 😂 pic.twitter.com/Jz3YDrM4Tk— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2021
Rogers, who had never beaten a world No.1 prior to this, will face British qualifier Emma Raducanu, one of three 18-year-old players still alive in this year’s US Open, in the next round.
For Barty, it's bitter disappointment after a brilliant run in to New York.
She was looking to join Evonne Goolagong and Sam Stosur as the third Australian woman to win the US Open singles title, having already emulated Goolagong at Wimbledon earlier this year, but it was not meant to be.
But her record of 42-8 this season remains one of the most consistent on the WTA Tour, and she leads in titles with five in total.
"There are certain people on the tour that I think no matter the result you know you're always going to get a genuine handshake, a smile, you're going to get that genuine respect. For me Shelby has always been one of those people," Barty said in her post-match media conference.
"She's one that I respect, one of the most that I respect on tour, and she's an incredible person. Tonight she showed a lot of fight.
"I could see she was enjoying herself. I think that's the most important thing for both of us, we had a lot of fun out there. I know regardless of the result, it never changes our relationship, and that's really special when you've got someone who is just a class act off and on the court.
"It sucks in tennis that there's a winner and loser every single day, but sometimes you don't mind losing to certain people. I think Shelby in a sense of her personality and her character, she's certainly one of those for me."