The women’s draw in Miami lost yet another Top 10 seed on Tuesday as Ash Barty knocked out Petra Kvitova 7-6(60, 3-6, 6-2 to reach her biggest tournament semifinal.
After a tight first set, Kvitova has roared back to take the second. But the Czech appeared to be in distress over her breathing in the third – she struggles with asthma – and Barty was too strong and she collected her first career win over the 2-time Slam winner.
“It was important for me to try and take Petra’s serve away from her as much as possible,” Barty said. “She’s got an absolute world-class serve.
“At times it was still out of my control, but I tried to do the best I could and tried to get into as many service games as I could, and I thought I did that really well tonight.”
The win also vaults Barty into the Top 10 for a first time.
“[It feels] bloody good,” Barty said. “No, I think it’s been a goal of mine for a long time now. That’s no secret. It’s amazing what happens when you put your hopes and dreams out into the universe and do the work, you know? It’s amazing.
“I had an opportunity last week that I wasn’t able to grab, and this week was about coming here and continuing to try and trust the process and enjoy the journey that I’m on. It’s a pretty beautiful thing being able to play tennis for a living.”
And in the Thursday semifinals, Barty will face another newcomer to this stage, Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian advanced to her first Premier Mandatory semifinal by defeating giant-killer Su-Wei Hsieh 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Kontaveit came from a set down and also 4-0 down in the third.
“Today probably wasn’t the best match that I have ever played, but I’m so happy to be through it,” Kontaveit said. “I feel like I fought really well and I never gave up. I’m really, really happy with the improvements I’m making, and being more positive with myself, whatever the score is, and all these little things that are getting better.”
Kontaveit and Barty have never played before.
On Wednesday, the last two semifinal spots will be filled as Czech’s Karolina Pliskova and teen Marketka Vondrousova clash. And first up will be former Miami semifinalist and now-tournament favorite Simona Halep against Wang Qiang.
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