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Faced with the only opponent who has beaten her since February, Barty reversed the result and scoreline exactly, defeating wildcard Badosa 6-4, 6-3 in the semi-finals.
The result extends Barty's red clay winning streak to 16 and puts her into her fourth final of 2021. The Australian has picked up titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart this season already, and her win-loss record is 25-3.
Since leaving home for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Barty has only lost once - a 6-4, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Badosa in the Charleston quarter-finals. Her revenge was clinical as she found 30 winners to 23 unforced errors, sealing victory on her second match point with a sixth ace of the day.
World No.62 Badosa, the first Spanish player to reach the last four in Madrid in tournament history, played at a high level in a tight first set. Anticipating Barty's patterns and patiently attacking her backhand, Badosa stuck with her through the first nine games. Serving to stay in the set, a brilliant Barty lob and a handful of loose Badosa forehands opened the door. Bold winners from Badosa saved two set points, but a double fault on the third was an unfortunate way to finish the opening act.
Badosa battled valiantly to halt Barty's momentum at the start of the second set. But after an early exchange of breaks, another double fault from the home player put Barty up 3-1. The World No.1 survived three break-back points in the next game to consolidate for 4-1, holding with an exquisite dropshot.
That tussle proved crucial as Barty conceded just two more points on serve to seal her place in a first Madrid final against either No.5 seed Aryna Sabalenka or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
- with WTA media