Madrid, May 9 (IANS): Aryna Sabalenka turned the tables on world No.1 Ashleigh Barty to win the Madrid Open title.
Two weeks ago, Barty came from a set down to defeat Sabalenka in the final of the WTA event in Stuttgart, and it looked as if history would repeat itself when the Australian assumed the momentum going into the deciding set here, DPA reports.
But Sabalenka, one of the biggest hitters on tour, powered her way through the final three games for a 6-0 3-6 6-4 triumph and a 10th career title.
Barty had not lost a match on red clay for nearly two years since before she won her maiden grand slam title at Roland Garros in 2019.
She had no answer to the power of her 23-year-old Belarusian opponent in the first set here, though, as Sabalenka produced the shots that have seen her tipped as a future slam champion for several years.
Sabalenka appears closer to that than ever now and she will hit a new career-high ranking of four on Monday.
Just as impressive as her first-set dominance was the way she recomposed herself after her level dropped in the second set, refusing to let Barty engineer her way to another title.