Thursday, April 15, 2021

WTA Miami Open | Ash Barty beats Victoria Azarenka to reach quarter-finals

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By AP – Ash barty seems to like to be pushed towards a decisive whole.

The Australian seed advanced to the quarter-finals Miami Open 14th seed Belarusian Victoria Azarenka on Monday, 6-1 1-6 6-2 in a match between former champions Miami – plus one where the current world number one overtook the former world number one.

It was Barty’s second treble win so far in this tournament and she has improved to 17-3 in her last 20 games that have gone the distance. Barty will next face No.7 seed Aryna Sabalenka or No.19 seed Marketa Vondrousova, who were scheduled to play a fourth round match later on Monday (local time).

It was Barty’s ninth consecutive victory at the Miami Open – to return to his march for the 2019 title as the No.12 seed. Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open winner who has contested the US Open final last year.

Barty controlled the first set by breaking in Game 4 to gain control and win 6-1. For Azarenka, three-time Miami champion, the turnaround was fair play in the second.

Azarenka broke for a 2-0 lead in the second set when Barty pushed a forehand into the net in the next game, prompting the three-time Miami champion to pump a fist and receive some applause from the largely empty grandstand. – with coronavirus protocols limit crowds at the tournament to a slice of their usual size.

Azarenka quickly fell from 0 to 40 in her next service match, then broke away and went through the rest of the set.

But the third was all Barty, who never had a problem and finally finished Azarenka after 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Also on Monday, 12th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada edged 20th-seeded French Ugo Humbert 6-4 7-5 in a third round match, and Marin Cilic of Croatia – the champion of the ‘US Open 2014 – defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4 to advance to the men’s fourth round.

Cilic’s best performance in Miami was a trip to the quarterfinals in 2013.

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