“Important Not to Panic”: Ashleigh Barty Looks On After 15th Consecutive Clay Court Victory at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/05/2021, 11:32 AM CDT
Tennis – WTA 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 5, 2021 Australia’s Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning her quarter final match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova REUTERS/Sergio Perez


World No.1 Ashleigh Barty fought her way through Petra Kvitova to advance to the semifinals of Mutua Madrid Open 2021. With the victory, the Australian claimed her 15th consecutive clay-court victory.

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In recent times, Barty has looked unbeatable in the final set. Her ‘nerves of steel’ are very much the core in helping her establish the 15 match win streak on clay. She last lost a three-setter in the 2021 Australian Open. After that, she has won two titles in Miami and Stuttgart, respectively.

“I think it’s important not to panic, but everyone emotionally has different ways that they play on the court. I have always been quite calm on the court. That’s just always been my demeanor. But for me, it’s more about just trusting myself and knowing that we just keep chipping away and trying to find a way – and then give yourself time to do that,” Barty said.

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Ashleigh Barty celebrates winning her quarterfinal match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Ruthless Ashleigh Barty against Petra Kvitova in the first set

The first set started off fiercely from Ash Barty. The set only lasted 26 minutes, with Barty initially taking a 5-0 lead. Kvitova pegged a game back with her serve to avoid the bagel but got breadstick instead. Barty quickly wrapped up the set 6-1.

Petra Kvitova’s comeback

After the thrashing of the first set, Kvitova changed her tactics to cut short the rallies quicker. Kvitova hits the ball cleanly, but Barty has a superior reach and movement that has been difficult to counter. But Kvitova improved her serve and played with drop shots to take a 3-0 in the second set.

Barty’s return numbers dropped in the second set. From 3-0, the World No.1 couldn’t enforce an effective comeback and the three-time Madrid Open champ leveled the match with the second set- 6-4.

Petra Kvitova in action during her quarter final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Ashleigh Barty makes in 15 in a row

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As the rallies started to increase again in the third set, Kvitova’s desperate hitting also began. Barty quickly rushed to take a 3-0 lead. But hope was not lost for Kvitova as at 3-1 she was able to break Barty to restore serve parity in the set. Even a break in her momentum couldn’t stop Barty. She came roaring back to break Kvitova again and take a 4-2 lead.

Kvitova’s inability to capitalize her break points haunted her as Barty saved three break points to increase her lead to 5-2. On Kvitova’s serve, Barty saw two of her match points saved. Thus the onus was on her to finish the match. On her fourth match point in her service game, Barty converted and marched to the semifinals of the Madrid Open.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Haven’t Changed Any of My True Values”: Ashleigh Barty on Leading a Simple Life After Being No. 1

about 2 months ago

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Bhavishya Mittal

1081 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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