Ashleigh Barty: Australian jokes she’s not on “Spanish time” as she reaches Madrid Open final

Ash Barty

World number one Ashleigh Barty has reached the Madrid Open Final after beating Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa in straight sets.

The Australian hit 30 winners in a 6-4 6-3 victory to set up a clash with either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Aryna Sabalenka.

Asked if she’ll be watching the other semi-final, Barty humorously responded: "I'm not quite on Spanish time. I'm Australian. Early to bed, early to rise."

Whoever she does face will prove to be a tough test. Pavlyuchenkova has beaten four top 25 players in a row on her way to the semis, while Sabalenka is ranked seventh in the world and has won eight of her last nine on this surface.

Regardless, Barty will be the overwhelming favourite. The 25-year-old has 16 wins on red clay in a row now and successfully avenged her loss to Badosa at the Charleston Open this year.

After winning the French Open in 2019, Barty chose not to play the clay-court season last year. Now, though, she has returned even stronger and has the chance to strengthen her lead at the top of the rankings.

Is there anyone that can beat her? Not on current form it seems. Barty isn’t focused on outside influences, or other players –– she just lets her own tennis do the talking.

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