Ash Barty proved a powerhouse on clay with Monday success in a showdown between the most recent pair of French Open champions at the Madrid Masters.

The Australian world No.1, who lifted the Paris title in 2019, defeated 2020 titleholder Iga Swiatek 7-5, 6-3 in the third round, running her current clay win streak to 14 straight.

The top seed trailed 3-0 in the opening set but was never in danger after closing that first-set gap.

Barty said she needed to adjust to the Swiatek game.

“It took me some time to get used to Iga’s weight of shot. Once I was able to do that, I became a lot more clear and was able to control the match a little bit

“it’s exciting to be again in the quarter-finals here. I’m still learning a lot about the conditions here, how dramatically they can change. 

“I’m enjoying every time I get to step out on that court.”

The victory puts Barty into a match-up with a fellow grand Slam winner in Petra Kvitova.

The Czech ninth seed with two Wimbledon titles beat Russian Viktoria Kudermetova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and holds a 5-4 lead in the series.

Kvitova won their only previous match on clay, played at Roland Garros 2012.

But that is ancient history for Kvitova: “It was many, many years ago so I’m not counting then.

“She has a game for clay. She’s sliding, playing lots of slice. She likes clay a little bit more than me probably. 

“Playing Ash, it’s a great challenge, a great matchup. I really will enjoy it. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Main photo:- Ash Barty beating Iga Swiatek in Madrid – by WTATennis.com

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