MADRID -- Even surrounded by Spaniards in a jam-packed Manolo Santana Stadium crowd, Maria Sakkari wasn’t terribly interested in the hometown narrative they craved.

The World No.9 dropped a poised and polished 6-4, 6-4 defeat on Paula Badosa, ending hopes of a Mutua Madrid Open title for the country’s highest-ranked woman.

Sakkari will face Irina-Camelia Begu in a quarterfinal match Tuesday night in Madrid. Begu has lost two of three previous matches to Sakkari, most recently in the St. Petersburg three-set semifinals last year.

This is Sakkari’s first quarterfinal appearance in Madrid, but the 10th of her career on clay.

On Sunday night, Sakkari watched the match between Holger Rune and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina with her coach Tom Hill. The No.35-ranked Davidovich Fokina, playing in front of a partisan Spanish crowd, upset No.7 Rune.

“[We] discussed that I had to stay very focused on myself,” Sakkari said. “I have to just try and do my thing. Because if you do one little thing that can trigger the crowd, then things can go downhill. I was just trying to keep calm, keep doing what I was doing well the entire match and just play my game.

“My level is getting better and better.”

The match sailed along on serve until the seventh game, when Sakkari exerted herself and broke Badosa’s serve -- at love. That margin held up the rest of the set and Sakkari converted her second set point to take the first set.

The 27-year-old from Greece opened the second with another service break and maintained that advantage the rest of the way. On match point, a frustrated Badosa hit a forehand about 10 meters long.

Reduced to simple terms, Sakkari forged three break points and converted two of them; Badosa was 0-for-3.

A year ago, Badosa arrived in Madrid as the No.2-ranked player -- and promptly lost her second match to Simona Halep. This year, she came in at No.42 (and the No.26 seed) and said she was managing the wild expectations from fans and media much better. This defeat, at the hands of a good friend, will be difficult to process.

“I knew it was going to be very tough because she was playing at home [and] she has been playing very good tennis lately,” Sakkari said in her post-match interview. “She’s finding her way back. You don’t get to No. 2 by luck. She's one of the best players on the tour, and I think her ranking is not the real picture of what her game actually is.”

Earlier, Begu dispatched No.14 seed Liudmila Samsonova 6-4, 6-4 to become the first player into the quarters. Although Begu is ranked lower, this was not considered an upset; the 32-year-old Romanian was 22-5 on clay last year. Her two most recent titles -- last year in Palermo and 2017 in Bucharest -- came on clay.

With Samsonova serving at 4-all in the second set, Begu took a decisive lead when the Russian’s forehand, on a neutral ball, flew wide. Begu served it out, finishing with an ace, in a match that ran 1 hour, 47 minutes.

Begu, the No.31 seed who converted four of seven break points, has now won three matches in Madrid and is 10-7 for the season.

“I played Maria last year -- I like the challenge of playing the top players," Begu said. "I have to play my best to win, but I have no pressure. An important match for me. I will try to reach my best level.”

Of Begu, Sakkari said, “She’s a very tough and tricky player. She’s very solid, barely makes any mistakes. I just have to stick to my game and try to be aggressive. Yeah, it’s going to be tough.”