“Brings Out the Best In Me”: Ashleigh Barty Excited to Play Petra Kvitova at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/04/2021, 2:38 AM 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 has said that she is up for the challenge of facing veteran Czech star Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals at the Madrid Open. The 25-year-old Australian, who came through some tricky three-setters on clay this year, had a relatively easier outing against World No. 17 Iga Swiatek on Monday.

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Playing against the reigning French Open champion for the first time, Barty put it past 19-year-old Swiatek in straight sets to book a quarters date with the World No. 12, who is seeded ninth in Madrid.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the clash against the 2019 Madrid runners-up, the Australian said that she has always enjoyed playing Kvitova as she brings out the best in her.

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Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova celebrates winning her quarter final match against Germany’s Laura Siegemund REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Ashleigh Barty says it will be a challenge playing Petra Kvitova

Barty, who bettered her win/loss record against Top-20 players to 9-0 this year following her win over Swiatek, currently trails 4-5 in head-to-head clashes against the two-time Grand Slam champion.

However, she isn’t losing sleep over it as she said that she is really looking forward to meeting Kvitova on clay again after the 2012 French Open clash. That match had ended in a resounding defeat for the Aussie.

Barty said that the Czech would be a formidable opponent as she has won the Madrid Open a number of times, but she is excited for the “challenge.” “I love to play Petra. I do. She brings out the best in me…it’s another challenge, another test. She’s won this tournament multiple times, loves the conditions here,” the Aussie said of her opponent.

The World No. 1 added that both players would go into the clash without too much baggage and would simply look to execute their plans against each other.

Barty says whoever executes better will win Madrid QF

Having been involved in many absorbing battles with the Czech, Barty said that it will all come down to who plays better on the given day. “We go into it like any other match, try and execute as best as we can, whoever does that better on the day will come out on top,” the World No. 1 said.

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Kvitova said that though she won the last time she played Barty on clay, it was “many, many years ago” and she isn’t dwelling on it.

The match in question was at the 2012 French Open, where the Australian was routed in straight sets.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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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