World No 1 Ashleigh Barty is beaten in straight sets in shock defeat

WTA Tour
Ashleigh Barty perplexed

Unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa upset world number one Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to progress to the semi-finals of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, South Carolina.

The 23-year-old out-served the Australian powerhouse, racking up seven aces on the way to an impressive 6-4, 6-3 victory.

“My coach and I had been talking a lot this morning and [I was] trying to focus on myself,” Badosa said after the match. “I know I’m playing the world No.1, and she’s an amazing player, but I’m on a clay court, I know how to play on clay courts, I like to play on clay courts.

“I knew I had to focus on myself, and of course, if she was better than me today, that could be a possibility, so I’d just have to accept it. But at least I tried to do my game, my serve, my forehand, my backhand, and focus on me, and that’s what I did.

“I had a game plan, and I changed it a little bit because I didn’t know how she played, exactly. Of course, I’ve been seeing her a lot of times before, but I never played against her, so I didn’t know exactly how the ball was going to come,” Badosa assessed.

“I was quite intense with returns. I knew I had to be because she serves very good, she changes the serve a lot, she mixes it up, so I knew I had to be very focused on my returns. Then, of course, I think I served very well.

“That was the key of the match, because I [was] a lot of break points down, but then I could do a good serve, so I am quite happy about that. I think that I was intense on the first two or three balls against her, and I think that was very important today.”

Badosa will take on Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in the penultimate round, after the 15th seed ousted home favourite Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-4.

Compatriot Coco Gauff also stumbled, falling in straight sets to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, while Danka Kovinic of Montenegro battled past Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 6-7 (2) 7-5 6-1.

Meanwhile, Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek, France’s Harmony Tan, Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova and Colombia’s Maria Osorio Serrano all advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota.

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