Ash Barty has extended her winning streak on red clay to 16 matches, reaching the Madrid Open final with a comfortable win over local hope Paula Badosa.
- Ash Barty has not lost on red clay since starting her victorious French Open campaign in 2019
- Barty missed last year’s claycourt season because she was not travelling due to the coronavirus pandemic
- This year’s Roland Garros tournament is scheduled to start at the end of the month
The victory was the Australian world number one’s 16th in a row on the surface used at the French Open, which is scheduled to start at the end of the month.
Having missed last year’s claycourt season because she was not travelling during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, her winning streak extends back to the start of her victorious 2019 campaign at Roland Garros.
Badosa offered a unique challenge, as the only woman who has beaten Barty since February, doing so on the green clay at the Charleston Open a month ago.
But Barty was more formidable in Madrid, cruising into the final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over the wildcard.
The result will not have been popular with local fans because Badosa was the first Spanish woman to reach the semi-finals in Madrid.
“I know it’s been a big tournament for her, she’s played an exceptional level of tennis,” Barty said.
“She served particularly well, being able to control the court with her forehand. I think that was a challenge today. I was trying to neutralise that as best I could.”
Barty will face Aryna Sabalenka in the final after the Belarusian beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in their semi-final.
Sabalenka and Barty met in the final in Stuttgart late last month, with the Queenslander coming back from one set down to win 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.