Miami Open 2021: World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty Reaches Final

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Ashleigh Barty Miami Open final: World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty reached the final of the Miami Open after knocking Ukrainian Elina Svitolina out of the court on Thursday. The 6-3, 6-3 game victory over fifth-seeded Svitolina puts Barty into the final which will be held on Sunday. She will be facing either Bianca Andreescu or Maria Sakkari, who will compete against each other in the second semi-final match of the tournament, to be held on Friday afternoon.

The Australian star remains undefeated at Miami Open for 11 matches now, which includes her 2019 title win when the tournament was last played.

This will be Barty’s return to the title match of a tournament that she won when it was last held in 2019. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. Her win has now ensured that the 24-year-old retains her No. 1 ranking spot at least through to the French Open, beginning on May 17.

Barty is defending ranking points in Miami after her 2019 tournament victory. She will lose 400 ranking points if she loses the final on Sunday. “It wasn’t easy today, not by any means,” Barty said after the match with Svitolina.  “I felt like I wanted to come out here and be aggressive, and I was able to execute it. Elina is an exceptional competitor. She’ll never give you a free point no matter what the score is. I know I have to bring my best and I was able to do that today.”

In February this year, Barty lost in the Australian Open quarter-final, upsetting many of her fans. The loss cut short Barty’s journey to becoming the first Australian woman to win the title in Melbourne since Chris O’Neil in 1978. “It’s a disappointment today, without a doubt,” Barty said after the loss. “I would have loved to have done better and just been a little bit sharper the next game [after the medical timeout]. I just made a couple of loose errors in that game. I think for the rest of the set, that was the story.”

Feature Image Credit: The New Daily