World number one Ashleigh Barty will play Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa in the Madrid Open semi-final tomorrow
Barty overcame three-time Madrid champion Petra Kvitová in three sets, while Badosa stunned eighth seed Belinda Bencic.
For the Australian, it was a 15th successive victory on red clay. It was also her 10th win in a row against top 20 players and a 24th triumph in total this season.
So imperious has she been on red clay, that her last defeat came in 2019. Prior to playing Świątek in the round of 16, the 25-year-old had won 18 straight sets on the surface.
Considering there was a stage last month where Naomi Osaka had the chance to displace Barty at the top of the rankings, the former French Open winner has more than consolidated her position now.
Contrastingly, Badosa entered the tournament with minimal expectation –– arriving as a wildcard and ranked 62nd in the world. A string of impressive performances, however, has seen her garner notable attention and the support of the adoring Madrid crowd.
A gutsy comeback against Anastasia Sevastova was followed up by a convincing win against Bencic today.
So who wins this contest then? On paper at least, it seems very one-sided. Barty is not only the number one in the world but in the form of her life.
Yet, Badosa is on a hot streak herself and has nothing to lose. Home advantage could also play a factor –– albeit, there is a limited crowd this year.
Interestingly, the Spaniard actually beat Barty at the Charleston Open this year, in the pair’s only match-up to date. This proves she can compete with the best and will not be overawed with the prospect of playing the game’s top-ranked player.
The match in Charleston was played on green clay, which offers slightly different challenges to those posed on the red surface. Nonetheless, with nothing to lose, don’t be surprised to see Badosa spring a historic upset.News Now - Sport News