Barty powers into Madrid Open final

Ash Barty has defeated home hope Paula Badosa to race into the final of the Madrid Open and move within a match of back-to-back clay court titles.

ASHLEIGH BARTY.
ASHLEIGH BARTY. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Ash Barty's remarkable run of success has continued at the Madrid Open as the world No.1 powered into the final with a straightforward triumph over home Spanish hope Paula Badosa.

The Australian, who had lost to the wildcard in Charleston a month ago, took just 75 minutes on Thursday lunchtime to gain comprehensive revenge, winning 6-4 6-3 on the Manolo Santana court.

It set up a final on Saturday against either Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka or Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who were playing on Thursday evening.

Not that Barty will be watching the second semi, as she admitted afterwards: "I think it's a late match and I'm not quite on Spanish time yet.

"I'm Australian, early to bed, early to rise so I don' think I'll be watching that one."

Barty now stands on the verge of back-to-back European clay court titles, having beaten Sabalenka in the Stuttgart final a fortnight ago.

The win was Barty's 16th in a row on the red clay, and she's now just one match away from a fourth title of the year.

"I'm very excited to be in the final," Barty told the crowd after silencing their support of the Barcelona wildcard.

"Paula's had an incredible week, she's a great fighter and playing her at home here is something I'll always remember.

"I'll try my best (to win the title). I'm looking forward to another match against a quality opponent . Physically I'll try to get as ready as best I can, come out here and have fun again."

Barty took her time to get into her stride but began to crank up the pressure on the world No.62's serve the more the first set went on, eventually cracking the delivery in the 10th game, when a double fault from Badosa gifted the Queenslander the stanza.

From then on, Barty was in complete command, dismantling the Spaniard's powerful game for her ninth straight match victory in all conditions.