Sabalenka was crushed by Barty within the closing in Stuttgart final month however exacted revenge on the Caja Magica, a storming 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 victory to clinch the largest title of her profession.
The 23-year-old has by no means gone previous the fourth spherical at a Grand Slam however on this proof she will probably be among the many contenders on the French Open, which begins in Paris later this month.
“She takes the racket out of my hand when she serves the way in which she did within the first set,” Barty stated.
“I assure it will not be the final time that it occurs. I will proceed to battle and attempt to discover a manner again in every time.”
Pleased with our week 🧡 https://t.co/gPUxziArvv
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) 1620511019000
This was Sabalenka’s tenth profession title however her first on clay and it’ll see her rise to quantity 4 on the earth rankings on Monday.
“Earlier than I used to be an excessive amount of desirous about clay, that this floor shouldn’t be for me, that it is actually robust to play, it is about lengthy rallies,” stated Sabalenka.
“One thing modified in my thoughts this 12 months. I am probably not petrified of this floor any extra.”
Barty was the heavy favorite heading into the ultimate, particularly after beating Sabalenka in Stuttgart final month, additionally on clay, in a match that additionally went to a few units.
The Australian appeared to have recovered from a chastening opening set, after levelling up within the second after which main 4-3, 30-15 on Sabalenka’s serve within the decider.
😂 We’ll simply go away this right [email protected] | #MMOpen https://t.co/iJI5bZMkUx
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) 1620499440000
However her opponent by no means gave in and produced a superb end by successful the final 11 consecutive factors handy Barty her first defeat on crimson clay since 2019 in Rome.
“To be sincere after the ultimate in Stuttgart, I used to be injured, I could not transfer and wished to withdraw,” Sabalenka stated on courtroom afterwards.
“However the restoration was good, in 4 days I really feel higher and now I am the champion. It has been an incredible week.”
Barty will nonetheless be one of many favourites at Roland Garros, the place the Australian received her first Grand Slam title in 2019.
Her path to the ultimate in Madrid included beating reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek within the spherical of 16.
After shedding the second set 6-0 in Stuttgart, Sabalenka took some revenge by delivering the identical punishment to Barty, in a whirlwind opening body.
Candy revenge for @SabalenkaA 💃#MMOPEN https://t.co/VsKoHANx6q
— wta (@WTA) 1620498754000
Barty was blown away by her opponent’s relentless hitting from the again, particularly off the forehand wing, as three breaks sealed the set for Sabalenka, who conceded solely 4 factors on serve.
However Barty lastly gained a foothold with a break within the first recreation of the second, a Sabalenka backhand floating lengthy to shift the momentum in her favour.
Sabalenka curled a forehand into the nook to interrupt again however Barty restored her benefit with a volley slapped away after which broke once more to seal the set.
Barty threatened to interrupt for a lot of the decider, together with at 4-3, however Sabalenka dug in after which had a gap at 4-4, when a failed drop-shot and double-fault from Barty gave her three break factors of her personal.
Sabalenka transformed the primary with a thundering backhand down the road and confirmed no signal of nerves when serving out, powering right into a 40-0 lead and successful on her first match level when a Barty forehand hit the online.