Ashleigh Barty refuses to hit panic button as she beats Petra Kvitova, home favourite Paula Bardosa up next

WTA Tour
Ashleigh Barty clapping

Ashleigh Barty suffered a second-set wobble against Petra Kvitova, but stayed calm and managed to dig herself out of trouble and set up a Madrid Open semi-final against crowd favourite Paula Bardosa.

The world No 1 is in the form of her life on clay as she started the quarter-final on a 14-match winning streak and comfortably took the opening set before Kvitova hit back in the second set.

However, Barty kept plugging away and eventually won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 48 minutes.

The Australian broke twice in the first set before Kvitova drew level courtesy a break in game two of the second set. After breaking early in the decider, Barty was pegged back in game five before hitting back in game six.

“It’s just always staying in the fight,” the 2019 French Open champion said. “Always staying in the hunt and never letting it slide away. That certainly doesn’t guarantee results, doesn’t guarantee success. It guarantees you give yourself the best chance to do what you do and to figure it out and to find your way.

“I think it’s important not to panic, but everyone emotionally has different ways that they play on the court. I have always been quite calm on the court. That’s just always been my demeanour. But for me, it’s more about just trusting myself and knowing that we just keep chipping away and trying to find a way – and then give yourself time to do that.”

She will take on Badosa for a place in the final after the Spanish wildcard continued her fairytale run with a 6-4, 7-5 upset win over eighth seed Belinda Bencic.

Badosa stunned Barty in the Charleston Open in April, but knows it will be a different kettle of fish in Madrid.

“I expect a completely different match,” Badosa said. “She’s the No 1 in the world. Now she knows me. 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 to Charleston.”

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