- No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty is no surprise in this Madrid Open semifinal; unseeded Paula Badosa certainly is
- At a career-high No. 62, Badosa needed a wild card into the main draw from her home-country event
- The 23-year-old is 1-0 vs Barty. We break down the odds of a repeat against the tourney favorite
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, one of the pre-tournament favorites to win it all, seems to have done the heavy lifting early in her half of the Madrid Open draw.
She defeated 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek (their first meeting) in the third round, and three-time Madrid champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals.
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa Odds
|Player||Spread||Moneyline||Total at Bet365|
| Ashleigh Barty (AUS)||-4.5 (-150)||-450||O 19.5 (-125)|
|[WC] Paula Badosa (ESP)||+4.5 (+110)||+333||U 19.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 5
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But despite a 15-match winning streak on red clay, Barty can’t afford to relax against the upstart Badosa in Thursday’s semifinals (May 6, not before 7:00 am EDT).
Road for Badosa Filled with Open Doors
The first break for Badosa came with the draw.
In a 64-player draw with no first-round byes, the unseeded wild card could just as easily have run into Barty in the first round. Instead, she drew the solid but beatable Czech Barbora Krejcikova.
The next break came when Swiss lefty Jil Teichmann overcame a 1-5 deficit in the third set to upset No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina.
Badosa got Teichmann coming off that big win and beat her in straight sets.
After beating qualifier Anastasija Sevastova in three sets in the third round, Badosa got another break, in a sense.
Her more accomplished countrywoman, Garbiñe Muguruza, withdrew late from the tournament because of a leg injury, replaced by a lucky loser.
— wta (@WTA) May 5, 2021
Muguruza has never had great success in Madrid. But she’s having a good season and the intimidation factor would have been significant. Instead, Badosa faced No. 8 seed Belinda Bencic, whose clay-court results are fairly pedestrian. Still, it was a good win.
But now, the wild card has run out of wild cards. She will face the best.
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa Head-to-Head
|25 (April 24, 1996)||Age||23 (Nov. 15, 1997)|
|Ipswich, Australia||Birthplace||New York, NY|
|11||Career WTA Singles Titles||0|
|No. 1 (June 24, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 62 (April 12, 2021|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 62|
|$18,424,213||Career Prize Money||$1,021,010|
|24-3||2021 Won/Loss record||14-6|
Barty Pushed to the Limit by Kvitova
The 10th round of the rivalry between Barty and Kvitova was expected to be top-shelf. And it was.
After a torrid start by the Aussie, Kvitova began connecting and in the end, Barty edged her out 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Barty will face an opponent on Thursday who doesn’t bring anywhere close to the same weapons to the court, but who is on a roll.
Badosa Got the First One vs Barty
When Barty arrived in Charleston in early April to play on the “American clay” (the green Har-Tru surface that has some commonality with the red clay), she had just won the Miami Open.
It was a tough week physically and mentally. So she didn’t arrive in Charleston in tip-top form.
But she did manage to reach the quarterfinals before running out of energy against Badosa.
Can't win them all:
Spain's Badosa ousts world No. 1 Barty at Volvo Car Open https://t.co/ojwCiCHhoZ
— Leonie M. Short (@LeonieMShort1) April 11, 2021
Badosa is fully aware of this.
“I played her in Charleston. I expect a completely different match. She’s the No. 1 in the world. Now she knows me. As I say, No. 1 in the world, they don’t like to make mistakes two times in a row, so for sure I expect a tough match and completely different (than) Charleston,” she said after her victory over Bencic.
The New York City-born Spaniard beat Bencic in Charleston, too.
So maybe she’ll look at that as an omen.
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa Match History
|2021||Charleston (QF)||Har-Tru||6-4, 6-3||Badosa|
The women only joined the Madrid Open party in 2009. Still, in an era that has included Carla Suárez Navarro and Muguruza, Badosa is the first Spanish woman to reach the semifinals
Barty a Clear Favorite
With Barty on a clay winning streak, and having gotten through two big tests – and now knowing what Badosa brings to the table – you’d expect her to reverse the Charleston result with relative ease. She may well beat the spread (-150 for -4.5 games)
Best Bet: Barty in two sets (-163)