Fixture: Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa
Date: 9 April 2021
Tournament: Volvo Car Open 2021
Venue: Charleston, United States
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Green clay
Prize money: $823,000
Match timing: Approx. 5 pm local time, 2.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa preview
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will be looking to continue her stunning run of form as she takes on Paula Badosa for a place in the Volvo Car Open semifinals on Friday.
Barty has been on a tear ever since the start of the new year, having amassed a 14-2 win-loss record before arriving in Charleston. It had been widely assumed that she would've lost her touch due to not playing much in 2020, but the Australian has put all such doubts to rest with her performances.
Barty has picked up two titles so far in 2021 - the Yarra Valley Classic and the Miami Open (the latter being her second in succession). The 24-year-old started her claycourt season with a commanding win over Misaki Doi, bagging 90% of her first serve points in the process. She then faced the dangerous Shelby Rogers and was made to go the distance against the American, eventually coming through in three sets.
World No. 71 Paula Badosa, meanwhile, has been making rapid strides lately. Badosa recorded her first Grand Slam match win at the 2020 Australian Open, defeating Johanna Larsson in the first round. The Spaniard recorded the biggest result of her career a few months later as she reached the second week of Roland Garros, beating former Slam champions Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko along the way.
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa head-to-head
The last-eight encounter in Charleston will be the first-ever career meeting between Ashleigh Barty and Paula Badosa, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Ashleigh Barty vs Paula Badosa prediction
Ashleigh Barty has had a seamless transition from hardcourt to clay, and has displayed some all-round tennis at Charleston so far. While Barty wasn't in complete control of the proceedings against Rogers on Thursday, the Australian impressed on her return as she won 45% of the points on Rogers' first serve.
Barty possesses a diverse array of shots, which has been one of the key factors in her rise to the top of women's tennis. The 24-year-old has solid groundstrokes off both wings, a great kick serve and smart shot selection - attributes that helped her win Roland Garros in 2019.
Paula Badosa also enjoys playing on the dirt, but employs a more defensive style of play. Having said that, the Spaniard has an accurate first serve which could give her opponent some trouble during the match-up.
While Barty has always had an all-court game, her newfound ability to hit through her opponents has made quite the difference for he in the deep end of tournaments. The World No. 1 is likely to be through to the semifinals if she shows the same fervor in her game on Friday.
Prediction: Ashleigh Barty to win in straight sets.