Ash Barty bagelled for first time in four years in Madrid final loss to Sabalenka

  • Barty’s 16-match clay winning run ended 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
  • Sabalenka’s rise could challenge Australian’s No 1 spot

Ash Barty was still all smiles after losing a thrilling Madrid Open final to Aryna Sabalenka, “proud” of how she had battled before finally succumbing to a powerhouse who may soon be challenging her world No 1 spot.

Barty’s remarkable 16-match winning run on red clay was finally dynamited by the occasionally unplayable Sabalenka, who defeated her 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 in the ‘Caja Magica’ on Saturday.

Related: What shape is Rafael Nadal in as he tackles another clay court season? | Tumaini Carayol

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