Monday, April 19, 2021

Ash Barty wins Miami Open and cements No.1 ranking

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Ash barty pushed a forehand winner into the court as her opponent, Bianca Andreescu, lying on her back in the far corner, was again injured.

With that, Miami Open final was decided.

Andreescu limped through 11 more points before retreating, crying, shaking his head and trailing 6-3 4-0.

Barty, ranked No.1, won her second straight title in Miami on Sunday (AEST), and the Australian was already in control when Andreescu turned her right foot with a forehand and stretched out onto the hard court. Barty hit another shot to win the point and the game continued.

But during the ensuing change, a coach taped Andreescu’s foot, and after another game the injured Canadian reluctantly called him out.

“I really feel for Bianca,” Barty said. “She’s had such a hard trot with injuries in the past.”

Andreescu was in tears again at the start of her post-match press conference, when she explained that her coach had convinced her to retire rather than risk further injury.

“I didn’t want to stop,” she says. “I trusted him and knew it was the best decision.”

The tournament was the first in the United States for Andreescu, 20, since winning the 2019 US Open. She missed 2020 due to injuries and the coronavirus pandemic and now faces another possible bet walk.

“I’m going to see what’s going on with my foot and start visualizing the healing process if it’s something bad,” Andreescu said.

On Sunday, 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner will try to become the youngest male champion in tournament history by facing No. 26 seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Everyone is looking for the biggest title. of her career.

Barty made his own breakthrough by winning the 2019 Miami Championship. The tournament was canceled last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Five other women have won back-to-back titles in Miami: Stefanie Graf, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

“I shouldn’t belong to this group,” Barty said with a smile. “I didn’t deserve the right to be on a list with these champions. They are true champions and legends, and I feel very privileged to be mentioned in that sentence.”

The match between Barty and Andreescu was their first, and a potential friendly rivalry is looming. Barty dominated from the start of the final with his solid serve and all-field play.

“She doesn’t play like a lot of players on tour,” Andreescu said. “She likes to mix things up, like me. It’s no fun playing against. Guess I’m getting a taste of my own medicine.”

Barty was playing outside of Australia for the first time since February 2020, and she arrived in Miami after a trip that took 45 hours due to two canceled flights.

“I told my coach when we got here it can only get better,” she said.

It made. Barty was one point away from defeat in her opener against Kristina Kucova, but she gained momentum from there and will retain her No.1 ranking next week.

With the pandemic limiting travel, the 2019 Roland Garros champion is embarking on the clay-court season expecting to stay away from home for months.

“It’s a good start for us,” Barty said. “I am looking forward to what will hopefully be a great season for us, and I hope we can play some really good tennis.”

Because the pandemic reduced tournament revenue and attendance is very limited, the champion received US $ 300,110, compared to the US $ 1.35 million Barty won in 2019. Only 750 fans were allowed into the field per session.

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