Barty, Svitolina Advance To Miami SF; Osaka, Andreescu Back Wed.
by Staff | March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm
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One semifinal is set at the Miami Masters. Ash Barty will meet Elina Svitolina in one semifinal on Thursday afternoon.

Barty picked up her first Top 10 win in more than a year beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3. Barty was backed by her serve which wasn’t broken all afternoon.

“At big points I felt I was able to produce some of my better stuff,” Barty said. “That’s what we are after. That’s what you’re always trying to do. But on the other hand, as well, I felt like Aryna did that exceptionally well today. We were both able to serve our way out of trouble at times. To be able to just get a couple of breaks, that was all that the match kind of needed, really.

Barty now two match wins from a second straight Miami title.

“Everywhere in the world there are different conditions and at times it suits you more than other places,” said Barty. “I feel like these are very familiar conditions for me. With the heat and humidity, it’s very similar to Brisbane where I grew up and what I was born and bred and trained in my whole life.

“I enjoy these courts. I enjoy the balls and how they are responsive to spin. A lot of different elements. There are a lot of places around the world that I enjoy playing, and here is one of them.”

If she reaches the final, Barty will keep her No. 1 ranking from Naomi Osaka who plays on Wednesday.

For Sabalenka, all five of her losses this year have come in three sets. She’s now just 2-5 in deciding sets on the year, 12-0 in straight sets.

In the evening, Elina Svitolina rolled past former US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-2 in just 69 minutes. It’s her biggest semifinal since making the 2019 year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

“For sure it’s a good tournament for me, but I try to take every tournament as a challenge, and this one for sure I was working really hard physically, mentally as well, to play at this level,” Svitolina said.

“I beat very good players. I’m playing good tennis so I try to build on that. I try to focus, you know, on my semifinal right now, because it’s a big match for me. I don’t want to think so much about how the tournament goes right now. I just try to focus on my next match and to keep the same level.”

Svitolina and Barty have met twice before with the Australian coming out ahead in that 2019 Shenzhen finale. Svitolina won a tight 3-setter at 2019 Indian Wells.

“For sure the match in Shenzhen was extremely tough for me after,” reflected Svitolina. “I hate losing the Finals, and especially Shenzhen Finals, it’s a huge event. I wanted to defend my title.

“So it was extremely tough for me to lose that one, and hopefully, you know, I can play better and get the revenge.

“She improved a lot for the past three, four years. She’s been playing extremely high level. So I’ll have to bring my best game. I will sit down with my coach to go through that match. Right now just to try to recover and be ready for her.”

On Wednesday, tournament favorite Naomi Osaka puts her 23-match win streak on the line against Greek Maria Sakkari. In the evening, Bianca Andreescu continues her comeback against Sara Sorribes Tormo.


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