July 2021 \ News \ SPORTS
Aryna Sabalenka beats world No.1 Ashleigh Barty

In May, Aryna Sabalenka turned the tables on world No ...

  • MsArynaSabalenka

In May, Aryna Sabalenka turned the tables on world No.1 Ashleigh Barty to win the Madrid Open title. Sabalenka, one of the biggest hitters on tour, powered her way through the final in three games for a 6-0 3-6 6-4 triumph and a 10th career title on May 1, 2021. Two weeks prior to their May 1 clash Barty had come back after being 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 in Madrid.

Barty had not lost a match on red clay for nearly two years 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, 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 hit a new career-high ranking of four. 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.

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