The WTA 1000 in Madrid has Saturday, in its traditional clay, the seasoning of the grand final. Australian Ashleigh Barty, No. 1 in the world, and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, No. 7 in the international ranking, bid for dominance in a reissue of the recent definition in Stuttgart, two weeks ago, when he celebrated the first. And there’s live action on ESPN 2 and the ESPN App.
Both players meet this year their third appearance in this WTA 1000 on Spanish soil and previously they had not even appeared in the semifinals. Now it is the turn of the decisive duel, from 13:30 ARG / URU 12:30 BOL / CHI / PAR / VEN 11:30 COL / ECU / PER.
The Australian is the rival to beat. She is the player of the moment. He has accumulated nine victories in a row that provided him with success in Stuttgart, the third in 2021, along with Melbourne and Miami. On clay, her numbers are intimidating, with 16 consecutive wins, since Rome 2019 and she is already a specialist in finals. She has won all she has played since the 2019 Beijing tournament when she was beaten by the Japanese Naomi Osaka.
“The challenge is to get to a position where she does not control the court. If she tries to neutralize me, respond as best she can, change the pace, be aggressive when she has to be and run when she has to,” reveals Barty, who came back with authority to his rival in Stuttgart (3-6, 6-0 and 6-3) and that this season he has already achieved twenty-five victories and only three lost games.
On the other side, Sabalenka who did not lose a set in Madrid. The Belarusian player, seventh in the world, who clings to her ability on clay, has never made it past the first round where she has pulled out nine of her last ten matches. “My game improved a lot on clay and that gave me confidence,” he stressed.
With a history of nine trophies in her career, a figure that she achieved with success in 2021 in Abu Dhabi, she undertakes a new attempt to subdue the world number one, which separated her from the last two competitions she faced. In addition to Stuttgart, he lost to Barty in the Miami quarterfinals.
The one of the Magic Box will be the eighth duel between Barty and Sabalenka. The Belarusian won three, the rest, including the last two, for the world number one. The stakes are high, with an eye on the upcoming Roland Garros challenge.