Aryna Sabalenka defeats Ashleigh Barty to win Madrid Open
Number five seed Aryna Sabalenka beat world number one Ashleigh Barty 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 in the Mutua Madrid Open final. With this win, Sabalenka reversed two previous losses this year against Barty, besides collecting her first WTA clay-court title. The trophy is Sabalenka's second of the season after she won the Abu Dhabi Open back in January 2021. Here are the details.
Brilliant Sabalenka stamps her authority
The Belarusian now owns a 10-5 record in finals. The 23-year-old has tasted success in 10 of her last 12 finals since 2019. Notably, she will enter the top five of the WTA Rankings for the first time next week. Sabalenka has leveled the head-to-head tally against Barty. In eight meetings, both players have now collected four wins each.
It's been an amazing week, says Sabalenka
Sabalenka said she wanted to withdraw after the Stuttgart final loss due to an injury but the recovery went well. "To be honest, after the final in Stuttgart I was injured, I couldn't move and wanted to withdraw," Sabalenka said. "But the recovery was good, in four days I feel better and now I'm the champion. It's been an amazing week."
Sabalenka's journey in the Madrid Open
Fifth seed Sabalenka beat Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2 in round of 64. Sabalenka prevailed over Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-3 next. In round of 32, she beat Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-2, Sabalenka edged past 13th seed Elise Mertens 6-1, 4-0 in the quarters after the latter retired. In the semis, Sabalenka overcame Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3. She defeated Barty in the final in three sets.
Sabalenka ends Barty's run
Australian star Barty had beaten Sabalenka in three sets in both the Miami quarter-finals last month and the Stuttgart final two weeks ago. She was also on a 16-match red clay winning streak, and had won her past 10 clashes against Top 10 opposition.