• A happy Ash Barty celebrates after defeating Iga Swiatek of Poland during their match at the Madrid Open. (AP Photo/Paul White)Source: AP Photo/Paul White
Ash Barty defeats Polish teen Iga Swiatek in two sets, moving on to the Madrid Open quarter finals and confirming herself as Roland-Garros favourite.
Dan Butler

4 May 2021 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 4 May 2021 - 12:07 PM

Ash Barty has secured a convincing win over current Roland-Garros champion Iga Swiatek to move on to the quarter finals at the Madrid Open. 

Ngarigo woman Barty dispatched the Polish teen 7-5 6-4 in a much-anticipated clay court showdown between the two heavyweights. 

It's a huge conquest that raises expectations for the Australian's appearance at the French Open at the end of the month. 

Barty was the reigning French Open champ when she pulled the plug on the campaign to defend her title, amidst concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. 

With her latest win, she's confirmed herself as the one to watch going in the grand slam this year. 

Despite an inauspicious start, down 3-0 in the first set, Barty rallied to meet her opponent's powerful game, and stayed in front to win in two sets. 

"I really enjoyed myself out there tonight. I enjoyed the challenge. Iga's game is exceptional. It's really, really impressive," Barty told reporters after the game.

"It took me some time to get used to Iga's weight of shot... It took me some time to get used to that and kind of nut down what I really wanted to do out there.

"Once I was able to do that, I became a lot more clear and was able to control the match a little bit more the way i wanted to."

Barty goes on to face ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the quarter finals.

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