Ashleigh Barty despondent

Ashleigh Barty on Aryna Sabalenka Madrid final defeat: ‘There is no shame in it’

Ashleigh Barty says her Madrid Open final defeat to Aryna Sabalenka ultimately came down to fine margins.

Sabalenka battled to a brilliant 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 win against the world number one to avenge her Stuttgart final defeat to the Australian two weeks ago.

Barty appeared to be in serious trouble early on, with the Belarusian bageling her in the opening set.

However, Barty was in no mood to go down without fighting, and she made a thrilling fight of it by taking it to a deciding set before Sabalenka ultimately took the spoils.

“It’s happened to me before, and I can guarantee it’s going to happen again,” Ashleigh Barty said of the bagel.

“She takes the ball out of my court, essentially takes the racquet out of my hand when she serves the way she did in the first set.

“There wasn’t much in it. We both had two or three breakpoints in that third set; she grabbed her opportunity, I didn’t grab mine. Not a lot in that match at all.

“There’s certainly no shame in losing a close one to a top-10 player. I have absolutely no shame about that, no regrets.

“I’m really proud of the time we’ve had since we’ve been away. It’s been a great start. We look to bigger and better things.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.