Australian tennis Queen – Ash Barty has had her run of 16-consecutive wins on clay snapped after Aryna Sabalenka defeated the top-seed, 6-0 3-6 6-4, in the 2021 Madrid Open final today.
Looking to avenge last month’s loss to Barty in the final of the Stuttgart Open, Sabalenka stunned the world No.1 with a run of six-straight games to take the opening set.
Barty, who was looking for her fourth title of the 2021 season, broke her duck with a service break in the opening game of the second set.
The 25-year-old Australian surrendered another break to the world No.7 but stayed in the fight to take a 3-2 lead after stealing another of Sabalenka’s service games.
Barty consolidated the break and secured another in the ninth game to level the match at a set apiece.
With the title up for grabs, neither player ceded any ground in the opening eight games of a tense third set.
But it was Barty who blinked first, surrendering four consecutive points on her serve in the ninth game.
The 23-year-old Belarusian showed no signs of nerves, holding serve to love to secure the match and the championship.
It is Sabalenka’s second title of the season and the 10th of her career.
The loss was Barty’s first since February and just her fourth in 29 matches in what has been a blistering start to 2021.
She has already claimed the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open and the Stuttgart Open this season to extend her lead at the top of the WTA world rankings.