Paula Badosa beat top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-3 at the Volvo Car Open on Friday, the Australian’s worst loss since 2019.

Paula Badosa beat top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-3 at the Volvo Car Open on Friday.

Badosa reached the tournament semifinals in her first time at the season’s opening clay-court tournament. And she was rarely pressured by Barty on the way to her first victory over a No. 1 player.

Badosa broke Barty’s serve five times including the last two times the Australian powerhouse served after the second set was tied 3-all.

“I’m still a little bit shocked. I can’t believe what just happened,” the 23-year-old Badosa said. “When the ball went out, I was like ‘What just happened right now?'”

Ash Barty is ousted by Spain's Paula Badosa. (Getty)

It was the second time in her past four events that Badosa advanced to the semifinals. She’ll face Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, the 15th seed, on Saturday for a spot in the championship final.

Badosa, a former French Open junior champion, is the lowest-ranked player to beat Barty since September 2019.

Barty was coming off a victory at the Miami Open last Saturday and looked strong in her first two matches in Charleston. But she fell behind Badosa and struggled to handle her opponent’s serve.

Despite the defeat, Barty was glad for the run that took her this far in preparations for the French Open.

Barty beats Azarenka in Miami

“I think I took a few too many risks” in the match, Barty said. “But I think it’s been an exceptional three weeks to start off our trip and we can nothing but the positives from it.”

As Badosa got closer to the upset, she worried about Barty’s ability to rally. “Sometimes these matches are very tough to close,” Badosa said. “Today, I’m quite happy that I managed it well.”

Danka Kovinic of Montenegro rallied after losing the first set to oust Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-1. It’s the first time Kovinic, ranked 91st in the world, advanced to a WTA semifinal in 14 tournaments since the Taipei OEC Open in November 2019.

“I really think this clay suits me well,” she said. “I just feel really, really good here.”

Kovinic will face Ons Jabeur of Tunisia on Saturday for a spot in the championship final. Jabeur, the 12th seed, defeated the youngest player in the field, 17-year-old American Coco Gauff.

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