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Ash Barty’s clay run ends in Madrid Open final loss

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Ash Barty was still all smiles after losing a thrilling Madrid Open final to Aryna Sabalenka, “proud” of how she’d 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.

“You can’t win ’em all,” shrugged a phlegmatic Barty after running into an inspired opponent who stopped her annexing her fourth title of the year.

“I think whenever you have an opportunity to leave the tournament with a smile, that’s always a good thing. That’s certainly what…



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