Wednesday at the Mutua Madrid Open was all about quarterfinal action and our Jimmie48 closely followed everything happening on the courts. Here’s the daily recap with our photographer’s exclusive coverage.
Ashleigh Barty extended her winning streak on red clay to 15 matches with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over three-time Madrid Open champion Petra Kvitova. In their previous nine career meetings, Kvitova had won their only match-up on clay at 2012 Roland Garros, while Barty has now won five of their past six encounters to tie their head-to-head at 5-5.
After the quarterfinal, the world No.1 Barty had very kind words about her opponent:
Petra and I, we respect each other as tennis players. And I respect her immensely as a person. I love who she is as a person, and on the court it’s more than just about the result. I think we love to compete, we love to test each other, we love to test ourselves.
Barty’s semifinal opponent will be wildcard Paula Badosa, the only player who has beaten the world No.1 since February. The world No.62 Badosa became the first WTA player from Spain to reach the Madrid Open semifinals with a 6-4 7-5 upset of No.8 seed Belinda Bencic.
Note that en route to her first WTA 500 semifinal, last month in Charleston, Badosa stunned Bencic in the second round and then Barty in the quarterfinals for her first Top 20 wins.
After the big victory in Madrid on Wednesday, Badosa went down on her knees and kissed the clay of the Arantxa Sanchez Stadium.
Even though she beat Barty less than a month ago, Badosa is very cautious of having high expectations for her upcoming encounter:
I expect a completely different match. She’s the No.1 in the world. Now she knows me. No. 1 in the world, they don’t like to make mistakes two times in a row, so for sure I expect a tough match and completely different to Charleston.
The 23-year-old Badosa is wearing the Nike Summer Victory Polo Dress at the WTA 1000 tournament in Madrid.
Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka is confidently progressing through the clay-court season. However, the Belarusian’s last win was not a real triumph. Seed No.13 Elise Mertens, Sabalenka’s friend and frequent doubles partner, withdrew because of a left thigh injury while trailing 6-1 4-0 in their quarterfinal.
Sabalenka advanced to the semis on her 23rd birthday.
Sabalenka’s semifinal opponent will be Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the Russian who followed up her best wins of the season (over No.14 Jennifer Brady and No.9 Karolina Pliskova) with a 7-6(4) 7-6(2) win over another Top 20 star, Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.
Ash Barty and Paula Badosa take the court on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. local time, followed by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Aryna Sabalenka.