Australian’s world no. 1 Ash Barty faced local hope Paula Badosa of Spain in the first semifinal at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Recently Badosa had defeated Barty on the green clay of Charleston in a WTA 500 tournament.
World No.62 Badosa, the first Spanish player to reach the last four in Madrid in tournament history was able to take it to the Australian early in the match.
It wasn’t until the 10th game that Barty took advantage of a great lob and then some errors from Badosa saw Barty with set points.
Some big winners saved two only to see Badosa hand the set to Barty with a double fault.
Both players were not able to hold serve early in the second set.
Barty broke for 3-1 after another Badosa double fault at break point.
Badosa had three break points in the fifth game of the second set but it was Barty that managed to hold serve with a well disguised drop shot to give her the game and move to a 4-1 lead.
Barty looked to be streaking out to a double break lead when at 0-30 before Badosa fought back to finally hold a service game.
Another service hold for Barty and she was one game from advancing to the final.
Badosa held again to see Barty serving for the match at 5-3.
Barty raced through the first few points to hold a 40-0 lead. A shot to win the match just missed the sideline but she would serve an Ace to move into the final and for Barty to win her 16th straight red clay match.
After advancing to the final, Barty was into her fourth final for the season, winning all of the previous finals.
Barty hit 30 winners to 15, with unforced errors level at 23.