Australia’s Ashleigh Barty Wins Miami Open, Will Make Top Ten Debut
(March 30, 2019) In a match featuring two players from countries which had never even reached the Miami Open women’s final, Australian Ashleigh Barty beat Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-6(1), 6-3 for the title on Saturday afternoon in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Both women were appearing in their first WTA Premier Mandatory final. For No. 12 Barty this is the biggest tournament title of her young career. She now has four WTA singles titles. Her win will move her into the Top Ten for the first time. As of Monday she’ll be No. 9 in the world.
She’s is the first Australian woman to win the Miami Open and the first Aussie woman in the Top Ten since Sam Stosur in 2013.
Barty recovered from an early break in third game of the first set to get to a tiebreak. The 22-year-old won the last six straight points to dominate the 27-year-old former No. 1 7-1 to win the first set 7-6(1). Barty’s crafty game, full of spins, slices and movement was too much for the Czech during the tiebreak.
The second set opened with a 12-plus minute game in which Barty earned a break. She held on to the lead and broke again in the ninth game to close out the match 7-6(1), 6-3.
“I think she played well, for sure,” said Pliskova. “I think it’s a pity or unlucky that I didn’t hold the serve a little bit longer because I was up a break, and she quite gave me a lot of mistakes in the beginning, which I think she didn’t after.
“And I was tired, super tired. And also, the conditions completely different than what I have played the night matches. So of course I was not playing the best tennis. I was not serving the best.
“Yeah, I think she played well, so it’s not that I would play completely bad. But on the other hand, for sure, I could play better. For sure, I think I could maybe, you know, hold longer in the first set the serve.
“And then the tiebreak, she just went for it. She played some good shots. So I think the first set was, you know, the key of the match, because I was feeling very tired from maybe like fourth, fifth game. So if I have a set for me would be maybe different. So was somehow tough to fight in the second.”
“It was going to be a match of small opportunities,” Barty said. “I think I was able to claw my way back into the first set and take an opportunity when I got it in the tiebreak.
“I think it was important for me to try and get that first set. I think that first set today was going to be massive. I was able to get a bit of a roll on in the second early and keep the foot down.”
— Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN) March 30, 2019
Barty’s varied game produced 42 winners, which included 15 aces. Normally, Pliskova is the player who leads in the ace count on the WTA Tour. Pliskova hit just 6 aces among 20 winners with 26 unforced errors. Barty hit 20 errors during the match.
“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks on the singles and doubles court,” said Barty in her on-court interview.
“Wimbledon last year was a turning point for me and I’ve been able to run with it.
“I knew I had to have my running shoes on today to make as many balls as possible!
“You don’t get these opportunities every day and you have to try and make the most of it.”
“It’s been an amazing fortnight of tennis,” Barty said in her news conference. “It really has. I think it’s pretty cool to have played such a good match today, obviously in a big situation and a big match. Certainly proud of myself and happy the way that my team and I have been able to get through these two weeks.”
Barty took two years out of her career to play professional cricket in Australia before she came back to tennis.
“It feels like it’s a long time ago now since I took the break and since I came back. It’s been a few years now, but I certainly feel like I’m a very different person. I feel like I’m a more complete player, I’m a better player. I have been able to put myself into more high-pressure situations and in bigger matches.
“So it’s been, you know, a helluva couple years since my comeback. I can’t really complain at all.”
“I think that’s the beauty of this sport is that there is always another opportunity to become a better player, to try and make the most of what you can. “That’s what we have been able to do over this last fortnight, to beat some really quality players. And to back it up each day is probably the most pleasing.”
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 30, 2019
So far during the 2019 tennis season, 14 different women and 19 different men have captured trophies.
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) March 30, 2019