After falling down 0-3 in the first set against 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek, Ashleigh Barty made somewhat of a statement in Madrid. The world No. 1 stormed back to win the match, 7-5, 6-4, setting up a rematch with three-time champion Petra Kvitova.
Despite her career 4-5 record against the huge-hitting Czech, the 2019 French Open winner has not lost on red clay in nearly two years and enters this blockbuster quarterfinal as a comprehensive -225 favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook. If Barty brings the same level she showcased on Monday, it’s likely she'll even up the pair's head-to-head series.
“I love to play Petra. I do. She brings out the best in me,” the Aussie said on Monday. “It’s another challenge, another test. She’s won this tournament multiple times, loves the conditions here.”
Due to the altitude, the conditions in Madrid are fairly quick. This is good news for Kvitova and her overwhelming first-strike approach.
But Barty is on a roll, playing exceptionally clean tennis and controlling the points with pinpoint accuracy.
After nine matches against each other, there are no more secrets between the two. Expect this clash to come down to who has the better day. But since the WTA match wins leader hasn’t had a bad day in nearly a month, it’s safe to assume that Barty has the edge in this exciting encounter between two fantastic champions.
The Pick: Ash Barty