The Volvo Car Open has produced astounding upsets this week, and more top seeds continued to fall. Spaniard Paula Badosa played the match of her life to stun World No.1 Ashleigh Barty on Friday, sending the top seed home in straight sets.
Badosa played two sets of near-flawless tennis to pull off the 6-4 6-3 victory, shocking the sparse crowd who expected the in-form Barty to prevail. Having just won the Miami Open, the Australian was a favorite to lift the Charleston trophy. However, her Spanish opponent put on a clinic, outplaying the top seed to advance to the semifinals after just 75 minutes.
The World No.71 was aggressive early in the first set, obtaining two consecutive breaks to race to a 5-2 lead. Although Barty was able to salvage a break back, Badosa was able to serve out the set at the second time of asking.
"I was hoping I didn't trip and fall" - Barty on transition to clay following Charleston opener
The second set saw Badosa break Barty's opening service game, with the normally unflappable Aussie looking flustered. The errors began to creep into the top seed's game, as she committed five double faults and won less than 25% of her second serve points. Furthermore, Barty was only able to convert on two of 14 break point opportunities. Despite leveling the score and obtaining a 3-2 lead in the second set, the World No.1 lost four consecutive games due to pressure and excellent play from Badosa. The unseeded Spaniard looked to the skies in disbelief as a Barty forehand sailed wide on match point, giving her the biggest win of her career.
Badosa advances to her second WTA semifinal (Palermo 2019), where she faces the winner between the resurgent Sloane Stephens and 15th seed Veronika Kudermetova.