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Madrid Open: Ash Barty Gains Paula Badosa Revenge to Set Up Aryna Sabalenka Final

Ashleigh Barty (Photo Credit: AP)

Ashleigh Barty (Photo Credit: AP)

Ash Barty defeated Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to set up a meeting with Aryna Sabalenka in the Madrid Open final

World number one Ash Barty swatted aside Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Madrid Open final and exact revenge for her shock loss to the Spanish wildcard last month.

The Australian has advanced to her maiden Madrid final and will meet Aryna Sabalenka, who cruised past Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-3 in the second semi-final.

Barty, who lost to Badosa in the quarter-finals in Charleston, struck 30 winners in an immaculate display that extended her winning run on clay to 16 matches.

Badosa, the first Spanish woman to make the semis in Madrid, went toe-to-toe with Barty early on but her resistance crumbled while serving at 5-4 down. She saved two set points but gifted the 25-year-old Australian the opener with a double fault.

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Barty, who triumphed in singles and doubles in Stuttgart last month, trailed by a break early in the second but battled back to win four straight games and seize control of the match.

The 2019 French Open champion continued to turn the screw with a trademark ace, improving to 25-3 for the season and underlining her dominance of the women’s tour.

Sabalenka needed just over an hour to beat Pavlyuchenkova as the Belarusian improved her 2021 win-loss record to 23-6.

Saturday’s Madrid decider will be a rematch of last month’s Stuttgart final when Barty roared back to win 3-6 6-0 6-3.

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first published:May 07, 2021, 02:48 IST