Sabalenka imposes his punch and wins his first WTA 1000 against Barty

They won 6-0, 3-6 and 6-4, breaking a streak of 16 consecutive victories for the Australian on European clay. It is also the first title of the Belarusian in clay

Sabalenka celebrates his victory against Barty.Chema MoyaEFE

Aryna sabalenka unleashed a storm over Madrid that swept away Asleigh Barty, number one in the world, and achieved her first WTA 1000, the tenth title of her career. The Belarusian ended up making the extraordinary takeoff good and imposed her punch to win 6-0, 3-6 and 6-4 in a final that reached its maximum intensity in the third set. This is the second title this season for this 23-year-old player, who will enter the World Cup for the first time on Monday. top 5 of the ranking. With his victory, he ended his rival’s streak of 16 consecutive wins on European clay.

The Belarusian made a sweeping start. He broke Barty’s serve in the second game and asserted his vigorous proposal, far removed from the more temperate and cerebral style of his opponent. It was their third match in five weeks, the second after the recent final in Stuttgart, where Barty won. This time he could not find the number one answers in the world, as long as Sabalenka allowed himself to combine corduroy and silk: as soon as devastating groundstrokes as subtle drops that puzzled his rival, soon at an irrefutable disadvantage in the first set.


Nothing got out of Barty, also neutralized when he approached the net. In just 25 minutes, Sabalenka beat the champion 6-0 this year at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart and winner of Roland Garros in 2019. The Minsk, winner in Abu Dhabi, had reached the final like a shot, with only 18 games given, but no one expected such forcefulness in the first leg of the game.

Barty took advantage of his fourth break ball in the first game of the second set, which could mean a change in the course of the duel. It was not easy to maintain the degree of success of the Belarusian, even less when Barty improved his benefits with the service. Sabalenka lost it up to three times in the second set, surpassed by the tactical wealth of the 2019 Roland Garros champion.

We had to wait for the third set to experience the most vibrant moments. It was then that Barty gave the impression of sniffing the cup more closely, particularly with two break options that would have put him at 3-2 and serve. But it would be Sabalenka who, true to his style, risking his skin in each stroke, would break the mark in the ninth, also taking advantage of Barty’s concessions, finally subdued by his opponent’s steel tennis.

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