Fixture: (1) Ashleigh Barty vs (9) Petra Kvitova
Date: 5 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,549,105
Match timing: Not before 1 pm local time, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Ashleigh Barty vs Petra Kvitova preview
The quarterfinals of the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open will see top seed Ashleigh Barty take on three-time champion Petra Kvitova on Wednesday.
Barty extended her winning streak on red clay to 14 with a straight-sets victory over fellow Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek in the last round. The Aussie hasn't lost a match on the surface in nearly two years, and will be feeling confident about her prospects.
Kvitova has had her fair share of success on the red dirt in recent times as well. The Czech made it to the semifinals of Roland Garros last year, and has a quarterfinal run at Stuttgart to show for in 2021.
Kvitova also remains the most successful player in Madrid, and will be making her sixth quarterfinal appearance here. A clean striker of the ball, the 31-year-old enjoys playing in high altitude conditions, and this year has been no exception.
Ashleigh Barty vs Petra Kvitova head-to-head
Petra Kvitova leads Ashleigh Barty 5-4 in head-to-head matchups. The Czech snapped a four-match losing streak against Barty at last year's Qatar Open, where she scored a hard-fought three-set win.
Ashleigh Barty vs Petra Kvitova prediction
Ashleigh Barty and Petra Kvitova have played some tight matches over the years. And given the sort of tennis the two have produced so far this week, we could well be heading for another close finish.
Kvitova will look to take on the role of the aggressor in this match-up. She put up a strong serving performance in her match against Veronika Kudermetova, winning over 80% of her first-serve points and saving three of the four break points that she faced. Against the top seed, she will be hopeful of posting similar numbers.
Barty, on her part, will also rely on her powerful serve to win her a few free points. She will look to assert her dominance in the longer rallies, where she'll try and outmaneuver Kvitova using her signature variety.
The World No. 1 did buckle in the face of the consistent hitting of Paula Badosa earlier in the season, and will be keen to avoid a similar fate against Kvitova on Wednesday. The Czech definitely has the game to power past the top seed, but will need to ensure that she stays strong behind serve throughout.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in three sets.