World no. 1 Ashleigh Barty will play Spain’s Paula Badosa in the semi-final of the Mutua Madrid Open. Barty defeated ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in an hour and 48 minutes. This is the first time that the Australian has reached the penultimate round in the Spanish capital.
The match was quite a tussle with Kvitova rebounding after a shaky opening set. However, the top-seed asserted herself once again in the decider to defeat the two-time former Madrid champion. Speaking with the press after her win, Barty shared, “It's just always staying in the fight.
Always staying in the hunt and never letting it slide away. That certainly doesn't guarantee results, doesn't guarantee success. It guarantees you give yourself the best chance to do what you do and to figure it out and to find your way.
I think it's important not to panic, but everyone emotionally has different ways that they play on the court. I have always been quite calm on the court. That's just always been my demeanour. But for me, it's more about just trusting myself and knowing that we just keep chipping away and trying to find a way - and then give yourself time to do that”.
Mutua Madrid Open: Aryna Sabalenka maintains imperious form
In the semi-final, Barty will take on fellow first-timer, Spain’s Paula Badosa. Badosa upset the eighth seed Belinda Bencic in their quarter-final clash 6-4, 7-5.
In doing so, Badosa also became the first Spaniard to reach the semi-finals in Madrid. “I have to be honest; I was very nervous today. Because sometimes these matches are a little bit tricky when you played her two, three weeks ago and you think in your head that you have that opportunity to make a semi-finals.
I was quite nervous, but I'm quite happy that I could control all the nerves and I could play my game quite good,” Badosa noted after her win. Barty and Badosa’s semi-final will be the second time the two will be clashing against each other in the clay season.
Earlier in April, the two had faced each other in the quarter-final of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston with Badosa winning that match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. In the bottom half of the Mutua Madrid Open, Aryna Sabalenka and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will take on each other for a place in the final.
The fifth-seeded Belarusian advanced after her opponent, 13th seed Elise Mertens retired mid-match while trailing 6-1, 4-0 with an injury to her leg. In the other quarter-final, Pavlyuchenkova defeated Karolina Muchova 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in a minute short of the two-hour mark.