The clash of the day in the Caja Mágica between the two most recent French Open champions lived up to all expectations on Monday. Ashleigh Barty sealed her passage to the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open by defeating Iga Swiatek.
The 2019 champion needed two sets (7-5, 6-4) and one hour and 41 minutes on court to take the spoils in her first ever clash with the 2020 winner.
The Australian player responded in time to level a 0-3 deficit sprung on her as the Pole came flying out the blocks. Barty only needed one break point to recover the service in the fifth game and another in the eleventh, where Swiatek served three double faults.
The world No. 1 did the same in a second set in which she only required one
opportunity to break in the fourth game, as well as seeing off three for her opponent in
the fifth to definitively tip the scales in her favour.
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 3, 2021
The win gives Barty her equal best result in the Spanish capital’s WTA 1000. Her previous best came in 2019 when the Aussie beat her compatriot Daria Gavrilova, the American Danielle Collins and Kazakh player Yulia Putintseva before bowing out on the verge of the semis to Romanian two-time Madrid champion Simona Halep.
The first seed will now bid for her place in the penultimate round of this year’s #MMOPEN against the player whose name appears on the trophy more than any other. Petra Kvitova, three-time champion, will attempt to stop Barty producing a personal best in the Caja Mágica.
Barty stated after her win that she thinks “it’s exciting to be again in the quarter-finals here in Madrid” adding that she feels she is “still learning a lot about the conditions here, how dramatically they can change. So I’m enjoying every time I get to step out on that court”.
“I love to play Petra [Kvitova], I do. She brings out the best in me. It’s another challenge, another test. She’s won this tournament multiple times and loves the conditions here”, ended the leader of the WTA ranking.