Ash Barty continued her preparations for the upcoming French Open, continuing her run of dominance on clay this evening after beating Spaniard Paula Badosa in the Madrid Open Semi-Final to claim her 16th straight victory on red clay and her 11th clay court victory of 2021.
Heading into the match Badosa handed the world number one, one of her three losses for the year at the Charleston Open earlier last month and despite Barty’s impeccable win/loss record, the Australian hasn’t gone the easy way about them, going to three sets in six of her past 10 matches.
The first set was a tight battle between the pair, with neither player offering so much as a breakpoint to the other until late in the set.
It appeared as though the first was heading to a tie-break until the Australian got the upper hand in the final game being offered the advantage and the Spaniard double-faulting to lose the set.
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Badosa let Barty know early in the second set that she wasn’t going down easy, breaking Barty’s serve in the first game of the second set. Barty kept her nerve and broke back instantly winning the game 40-0 whilst Badosa appeared to be rattled in the moment.
Barty managed to hold her serve and break Badosa once more, as the crowd rallied around the home favourite, cheering her through every point. In the fifth game of the second set, Barty saw off three break points, seemingly unaffected by the crowd’s enthusiastic reactions to Badosa’s shots.
Badosa managed to hold her serve for the rest of the match but couldn’t find a way to break the Australian’s serve a second time, allowing Barty to serve out the match and reach her fourth final for the year.
Barty will go on to play the winner of Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens on Saturday looking to claim her first Madrid Open title.