Ash Barty knocked out of WTA Charleston after huge upset
Ash Barty saw her unbeaten streak come to an end after a shock defeat to Spain’s Paula Badosa at the Charleston Open.
The World No 1 was beaten comprehensively 6-4 6-3 in the quarter-finals in a concerning result ahead of the clay court season, where she will have to perform well at the French Open to retain the top ranking.
The Australian had won eight straight matches since her return following the Australian Open, including an impressive tournament victory in Miami.
However, Barty was brutally punished for failing to take her chances against the Spaniard, converting just two of her 14 break point opportunities, while Badosa broke serve on five occasions.
Another worrying sign for the Aussie was her lack of success on her second serve, winning just four of her 17 points behind it (24%).
Despite beating home favourite Shelby Rogers in three sets in the previous round, Barty appeared a frustrated figure on the court, not helped by her nine double faults.
“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,” said Badosa.
“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. 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.
“I was quite intense with returns. I knew I had to be because she serves very good and she mixes it up, so I knew I had to be focused on my returns. I think I served very well.
“That was the key because I was a lot of break points down, but then I could do a good serve, so I am quite happy about that.”
Despite players such as Ash Barty, Sofia Kenin, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza all featuring in Charleston, no player in the Top 20 has managed to progress to the last four.
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