No. 5 seed Arnya Sabalenka shocked tournament favorite Ashleigh Barty to win the women’s final of the Mutua Madrid Open, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 on Saturday.
The Belarussian got revenge for her defeat to Barty in Stuttgart just 13 days ago and ended the Australian’s run of 16 consecutive wins on clay.
“To be honest, after the final in Stuttgart I was injured, I couldn’t move and wanted to withdraw. But the recovery was good, in four days I feel better and now I’m the champion. It’s been an amazing week,” she said after the match.
Sabalenka blew Barty off the court in the first set, breaking her serve on three occasions in the second, fourth and sixth games and committing just one unforced error in a dominant display of tennis.
Barty reacted well, breaking Sabalenka’s 200 km/hour serve in the second game of the second set, but in the decisive final set, Sabalenka was able to once again show her aggression to claim the biggest win of her career and move up to fourth in the world rankings.
She had trailed 15-30 when 4-3 down in the third set but recovered to win the next 11 points and with that the match.
Sunday’s men’s final will be between No.5 seed Alexander Zverev and No. 8 seed, Matteo Berrettini.
Zverev continued his excellent form in Madrid with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem in a match where the German’s effectiveness in winning 78 percent of his first serve points was the main difference between the two.
Berrettini defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 thanks also to his serve with the Italian enjoying a stunning 91 percent win percentage on his first serve.