World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty is seeking a fourth title of the season when she squares off against Aryna Sabalenka in a rematch of the Stuttgart final, in the championship match of the Madrid Open on Saturday, May 8. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ashleigh Barty v Aryna Sabalenka Head to Head
Barty and Sabalenka have met seven times before, and the Australian nudged ahead on their head-to-head (leading 4-3) after wining the Stuttgart final a fortnight ago.
That remains their only previous meeting on clay in what has been a closely contested rivalry between the pair.
Barty Ends Badosa’s Staggering Run
The Barty Party is one match away from happening. The Australian World No. 1 picked up her ninth straight match win (her 16th straight on red clay), and simultaneously avenged her most recent defeat to Paula Badosa in Charleston.
Badosa, who needed a wildcard to enter into the main draw of her home tournament, had melted plenty of hearts with her sizzling run of form that put her on the cusp of an unlikely title triumph. Ultimately, she fell short of replicating her exploits in South Carolina when she stunned Barty on the green clay of Charleston.
Barty won 6-4 6-3, barely breaking a sweat, to reach her fourth final of 2021. She is 3-0 in title matches this season, winning the Yara Valley Classic in Melbourne, Miami, and most recently the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
The 25-year-old Australian fired 30 winners in an improved performance and secured three service breaks which did enough to warrant a place in Saturday’s final, which pits her against the woman she beat to win the Stuttgart final two weeks ago.
Sabalenka Tops Pavlyuchenkova, Earns Shot at Redemption
It is a tennis truism that some things on the court will not change. Aryna Sabalenka grunting and crushing a tennis ball at a breakneck pace is one of them.
When Sabalenka’s game is firing on all cylinders, she is a difficult proposition for any player. Unlucky for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who had felt the full wrath of Sabalenka’s venomous game.
The Belarusian had not dropped a set all week and wasn’t likely to do it in Thursday’s late evening semifinal. She recorded her 23rd match win of the season, as she romped past Russia’s perennial veteran, 6-2 6-3.
Sabalenka’s ratio of 21 winners to 11 unforced errors was a catalyst stat that propelled her into the final, where she will earn a shot at redemption. The 23-year-old suffered an adductor injury in the finals of Stuttgart a couple of weeks ago which played a huge part in swinging the outcome of the match.
Can the Belarusian get the job done this weekend?
Barty v Sabalenka Prediction and Tip
Barty is 4/5 to win this final, clearly showing how the bookies are not underestimating Sabalenka. The Belarusian has not dropped a set all week, and if the last three meetings are anything to go by, this should be another classic.