In a rematch of the Stuttgart Open final, Aryna Sabalenka is to face top seed Ash Barty in the Madrid Open showpiece on Saturday.
- Final: Ash Barty v Aryna Sabalenka
- Head-to-head: Barty leads 4-3 (1-0 on clay, and 2-0 in 2021)
- Key stat # 1: Barty is 11-1 in three-setters in 2021, including 2-0 vs Sabalanka
- Key stat # 2: Sabalenka is 10-1 on clay in 2021 (was 14-13 entering the season)
- Career titles, record in finals: Barty (11-5), Sabalenka (9-5)
- 2021 record: Barty 25-3 (11-1 on clay), Sabalenka 23-6 (10-1 on clay)
World number seven Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.
But she will have another crack at winning silverware in the Spanish capital in Saturday’s final against Barty, who saw off Paula Badosa in straight sets in the other last-four match.
“I’m looking forward to the final,” she said in her on-court interview. “First of all I will have a good rest and do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. It’ll be really interesting to play another final against Ash. I think it’ll be a great battle. I think everyone coming here can see themselves winning the tournament. I’ll do my best.”
Semifinal success in Spain for Sabalenka!
@SabalenkaA storms into her third final of the season, defeating Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3!
— wta (@WTA) May 6, 2021
Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the semi-final and that remains the case after cruising past Pavlyuchenkova in a little over an hour.
The fifth seed converted four of her five break points and won 73 per cent of her second-service points.
Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 41st in the world, lost serve in the fourth and eighth games of the opening set and failed to hold on her first two service games in the second set.
Despite breaking Sabalenka in the seventh game, the Belarussian proved far too strong for her opponent and got over the line with a fourth ace of the match to reach her third final of the season.