“Very Receptive”: Ashleigh Barty Wary of Changing Surface At Madrid Open 2021

Published 04/28/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in action during her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat


Women’s World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty gave herself a belated 27th birthday present by lifting a second Tour title on clay this year at Stuttgart. She is now in sight of her third straight title on dirt, and fourth overall, this year at the Mutua Madrid Open.

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Though she is at the top of her game currently, already proving herself to be a handful on clay and threatening to get on a bit of a roll before Roland-Garros, Barty is wary of the notoriously fickle playing conditions in the Spanish capital.

Speaking to reporters ahead of her tournament opener against American Shelby Rogers, the Australian tennis star described the Madrid clay as “very receptive”.

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Ashleigh Barty says Madrid surface changes according to the changing overhead conditions everyday

Barty added that the nature of the surface changes with the changing outdoor conditions every day, and one has to adapt and play accordingly in order to get the best out of it.

Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Kristina Kucova of Slovakia (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“The court changes according to the conditions of each day, it is very receptive,” the 27-year-old said.

Barty, who has been training with defending champion Kiki Bertens ahead of the tournament, said that while sparring with the Dutchwoman she could sense the “change of balls and altitude.” “Here you can see the change of balls and altitude and I have already noticed it in the first training session with Kiki,” the World No. 1 said.

(Quotes have been translated with Google Translate)

Ashleigh will play Shelby Rogers in her Madrid opener

The Aussie holds the proverbial wood over the 28-year-old American Rogers, and on current form, she would be expected to stroll past her in the opening. Barty has a commanding 4-0 head-to-head record against Rogers, with two matches going the full distance.

Their last meeting was at the opening round of the Volvo Car Open claycourt event at Charleston, with the Australian recovering from a mid-match slump to prevail 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

The Madrid encounter will mark only their second meeting on clay.

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DIVE DEEPER

“There’s No Finish Until It is Finished”: Ashleigh Barty Reveals How She Lifts Her Game Under Pressure

17 days ago

Even in the Stuttgart final against World No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka, Barty was trailing by a set before she summoned her signature steel and character to clinch the title.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

853 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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