Tennis-Barty gains Badosa revenge to march into maiden Madrid final


Tennis - WTA 1000 - Madrid Open - Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain - May 6, 2021 Australia's Ashleigh Barty with Spain's Paula Badosa Gibert after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Juan Medina

(Reuters) - World number one Ash Barty swatted aside Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 on Thursday to advance to the final of the Madrid Open and exact revenge for her shock loss to the Spanish wildcard last month.

Barty, who lost to Badosa in the quarter-finals in Charleston, struck 30 winners in an immaculate display that extended her winning run on red clay to 16 matches.

Badosa, the first Spanish woman to reach the last four in Madrid, went toe-to-toe with Barty in the early exchanges but her resistance crumbled while serving at 4-5, saving two set points before gifting the 25-year-old Australian the opener with a double fault.

Barty, who triumphed in singles and doubles in Stuttgart last month, trailed by a break early in the second but battled back to win four straight games and seize control of the semi-final.

The 2019 French Open champion continued to turn the screw and sealed a spot in her maiden Madrid final with a trademark ace, improving to 25-3 for the season and underlining her dominance of the women's tour.

Barty, who is chasing her fourth singles title of the year and third claycourt crown, will face Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka or Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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